Keeping Diabetes at bay

How can youngsters be away from diabetes? We suggest ten ways.


Prevention is better than cure, and this truly is the new mantra - it’s never too late to change your health for the better and avoid a lifetime of drugs and blood sugar monitoring, an increased risk of heart disease. Here are 10 steps to keep yourselves away from diabetes:


Nudge the scale Overweight and obesity may increase the risk of many health problems, including diabetes, heart disease, and certain cancers. To lose weight, we need to change our current habits. This means eating less – even when eating a healthy, balanced diet – and getting more active. Drastic fad diets and exercise regimes that result in rapid weight loss are unlikely to work for long, because these kinds of lifestyle changes can’t be maintained. Once you stop the regime, you’re likely to return to old habits and regain weight. Instead, choose diet and physical activity changes that you can make a part of your daily routine, and stick to for life.


Pick the right appetizer Take the next snack you plan to have and swap it for something healthier. Many common snacks, such as sweets, chocolates, biscuits and crisps, are high in fat and sugar and supply calories that we don’t need. Today, swap your elevenses or mid afternoon snack for a piece of fruit, a fruit bun or a slice of malt loaf with a lowfat spread. Aim to do the same every day.


Be a cereal connoisseur A higher whole grain intake is also linked to lower rates of breast cancer, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and stroke—and cereal is one of the best sources of these lifesaving grains. Selecting the right cereal can help you slim down and steady blood sugar.

Go veggie more often The “greenest” foods are healthy foods. Fruits and vegetables contain many essential nutrients for health. They also have few calories, plenty of fibre, and plant sterols that have been proven effective against heart disease and diabetes. Vegetables as a group are so low in calories that it is very difficult to gain weight even if you over-eat them. Optimal nourishment is another reason that vegetables are important on a daily basis. You need to eat vegetables everyday because you need a supply of vitamins every day.

Treats are for special occasions The constant availability of sweet and fatty food is the equivalent of a permanent feast. Many of us have lost the ability to restrain ourselves from eating sweet and fatty treats and have absorbed them into our diets on a daily basis.


Walk as much as you can Find a way to fit just one extra walk into your day. Fast walking is a way to burn calories, and you can often fit it into your daily routine. You might walk to the shops during your lunch break, or get off the bus one stop early on the way home and walk the rest of the way. Commit to this and you’ve adopted your second long-term habit. Ideally, you should aim to walk 10,000 steps a day: it’s not as many as it sounds. Studies show that exercise helps your body utilise the hormone insulin more efficiently by increasing the number of insulin receptors on your cells. Insulin helps blood sugar move into cells, where it needs to go to provide energy and nutrition. Otherwise, it just sloshes around in your bloodstream, gumming up blood vessel walls and eventually causing serious health problems.


Unwind every day Chronic stress can send blood sugar levels soaring. When you’re stressed, your body is primed to take action. This gearing up causes your heart to beat faster, your breath to quicken, and your stomach to knot, but it also triggers your blood sugar levels to skyrocket. Under stress, your body goes into fight-orflight mode, raising blood sugar levels to prepare you for action. Start your day with yoga, meditation, or a walk. Reclaim your Sundays as a day of rest or fun with your family, relaxing, worship, etc. Try to avoid spending the whole day on obligatory errands such as mowing the lawn, grocery shopping, or catching up on work.


Stop drinking sugar Quench your thirst with water most of the time. If you’re worried about its quality, purchase a filter. Opt out of sodas, soft drinks, fruit juice, and energy drinks. Have water, dairy milk, or unsweetened soy, oat, nut, etc. Soda water and sparkling mineral water are free of sugar; a few drops of lemon or orange juice freshly squeezed can be sufficient to flavour these drinks pleasantly. Coffee and tea are also ok in moderation, without sugar.


Get a perfect night’s rest There’s a sleep sweet spot when it comes to preventing diabetes. Sleep makes you feel better, but its importance goes way beyond just boosting your mood or banishing under-eye circles. Adequate sleep is a key part of a healthy lifestyle, and can benefit your heart, weight, mind, and more. Studies have shown that people who reported sleeping fewer than five hours per night had a greatly increased risk of having or developing Type-2 Diabetes. Fortunately, studies have also found that improved sleep can positively influence blood sugar control and reduce the effects of type 2 diabetes. Just by adapting a healthy lifestyle one can remain immune to diabetes. Studies have shown that even small changes like walking for 30 minutes a day, avoiding sugar, sweets and fatty foods have exceptional effects. This will have a cumulative effect resulting in substantial beneficial effects on body metabolism, leading to around 30 per cent risk reduction in development of diabetes.


Have a Blood Test Many diabetes symptoms are silent. Younger people who have risk factors such as being overweight, a family history, and high cholesterol and blood pressure should ask a doctor about getting tested sooner. If results are normal, get tested again within 3 years. If you have pre-diabetes, blood sugar should be tested again in 1 to 2 years.



By Ashish Thomas

Associate Editor
Easy reading is damn hard writing.