Top Tips to Prevent Diabetes

Diabetes | | November 24, 2009 at 8:00 am
Photo by Lepiaf.geo.

Photo by Lepiaf geo.

This month here in the US marks National Diabetes Awareness month. So can you guess what eating a lot of green veggies, exercising regularly, choosing not to smoke, and getting 8 hours of sleep per night all have in common? They’re the top 4 lifestyle choices you can adopt now to prevent developing type II diabetes later in life.

You might be surprised to learn that 74 million of your fellow Americans are living with or are at risk for developing type II diabetes. The good news is that you can reduce your chances of developing the disease through healthy lifestyle choices by approximately 93 percent.

Pre-diabetes. Who doesn’t enjoy a yummy piece of cake or their grandmother’s chocolate chip cookies? We all do right? Indulging from time to time is alright, yet when asked, health care professionals agree the modern American diet is at the heart of developing diabetes. When we eat copious amounts of refined sugars and carbohydrates, our bodies respond as if a hose has been turned on and left on, continuously shunting insulin into the body. Ask your doctor to perform a glucose fasting test if you suspect you’re at risk.

Tai Chi. This ancient Chinese form of meditation and exercise was recently shown to go beyond improving energy and vitality. A very cool study done at the University of Florida discovered that a regular practice of tai chi taking place over 6 months not only lowered blood sugar, but significantly helped participants maintain long term blood sugar control.

Choose less, more frequently. Smaller, more frequent meals balance blood sugar, keeping insulin resistance at bay. This style of eating triggers the brain to maintain a healthy balance of the hormones insulin and cortisol- 2 key regulators of blood sugar and stress. Try to eat every couple of hours.

Always on the go? Prepare snack packs for your days away from home. Include choices chock full of complex carbohydrates, protein, and essential fatty acids. Try nuts, seeds, avocados, granola, and egg whites to maintain the balance throughout your day. Fruits that help regulate blood sugar with a low glycemic index include grapefruit and apples.

Try acupuncture. Clinton J. Choate L.Ac notes that patients with diabetes incur health care related debt because the disease racks up numerous regular check-ups to clinics as well as outpatient visits for secondary illnesses related to the disease. Largely exerting its affects upon the endocrine system, acupuncture is recognized as an excellent preventive modality to reduce blood sugar fluctuations. Other risk factors associated with diabetes such as obesity, cardiovascular concerns, and kidney complications can all be prevented concurrently with regular visits to the acupuncturist.

Water works. We love our juices and sodas but the cost is continually spiking blood sugar. Opt for a sugary alternative by jazzing up your water. Fill a water container; then add mint, citrus, or rose water to satisfy your flavor craving. Still want to taste the sweeter side? Try an alternative sweetener with a low glycemic index.

Sleep well. Is your head hitting the pillow for at least 8 hours per night? Getting at least 8 hours of restful sleep is the key. Check out Dr. Gibran’s secrets to achieving great sleep!

Be a part of the community:

Jump on your bike and join the Tour De CureSchool walk for diabetes preventionSpecial events sponsored by the American Diabetes Association

Is there a diabetes awareness event in your area you’d like to share with other readers? Please share in the comments.

ChristineChristine M. Dionese L.Ac. specializes in integrative medicine, medical journalism and was the VP of marketing at WellWire LLC. Visit her wellness and lifestyle blog, Reaching Beyond Now.

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4 Comments

  1. kelly says:

    VERY good info – thank you!

    Diabetes patients are also very sensitive to even small amount of sugar in coffee and must avoid alcohol at all cost!

    Don’t rely on just the one medical association to tell you what’s good. Do dig up on what scientists found about chromium’s effect on people with diabetes.

  2. Sarah Hill says:

    Great article. I’ve been researching and I found some more good info here http://www.bettermedicine.com/article/type-2-diabetes