Stop Diabetes Now!
Type 2 diabetes is a medical condition that is almost entirely avoidable, says Pam Peeke, MD, MPH. “Experts claim that over 90% of all cases of type 2 diabetes could have been prevented by appropriate diet and physical activity.”
24 million Americans are now diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. And over 57 million (40% of those between the ages of 40 and 70) have a condition called pre-diabetes. Most of those people do not know they are on the fast track to becoming diabetic, because there are no symptoms. They (and perhaps you) are like a time bomb, ticking away, only the ticking is silent. If they knew, they’d have the opportunity to take action that could save them from an onslaught of medications, blood testing and injections, plus lowered life expectancy and risks of blindness, kidney disease, amputation, heart disease, stroke and heart attacks. Does that sound scary? Yes, it is.
The only way you can know if you are pre-diabetic is by getting your blood sugar tested. While you can start taking action against diabetes today, having your blood sugar tested is sure to increase your motivation, if your numbers are high. Call your doctor and get tested. Fasting blood sugar between 101-126 mg/dl is considered pre-diabetic.
Age, obesity, poor dietary habits and lack of exercise are the harbingers of type 2 diabetes and the fact that the baby boomers are aging is part of the reason we’re seeing epidemic numbers. But American lifestyles as a whole are the culprit, no matter what your age, and everyone can be affected. The good news is that if you can change your lifestyle, you can change the course of your life — away from diabetes. Let’s say it together—“Yes, we can!”
The Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) study, which was funded by the American Diabetes Association, found that just 30 minutes a day of moderate physical activity, plus a loss of 5 to 10% of body weight, produced a 58% reduction in diabetes. The study found that lifestyle changes worked better than medications. And importantly, the lifestyle interventions were most helpful to people over the age of 60.
Most people who get type 2 diabetes are overweight: they eat too much and they exercise too little. The abdominal belly fat they carry may contribute to their resistance to insulin, the hormone that helps you use sugar for fuel or store it appropriately. That’s why losing just 5 to 10% of your body weight (preferably fat) can help. If you weigh 200 pounds, that would mean losing 10 to 20 pounds.
Regular exercise helps your body overcome insulin resistance as well as increases your chances of losing weight while maintaining muscle mass. Everything from brisk walking to dancing to mowing the lawn or walking up and down stairs can count towards your 30 minute daily total. If you’ve been really sedentary be sure to start slowly, increasing your level of activity by a few minutes every day, until you reach the goal.
Both aerobic (activities like walking, swimming, jogging, dancing or biking) and resistance training are important. Don’t think you have to lift weights at the gym. Simple at home exercises with stretch bands or hand held weights will help, as will calisthenics like push-ups and crunches. And of course, the benefits are multiple in terms of your health and well-being.
To prevent diabetes, you need to choose healthy foods and limit portions. Doing so will not only improve your nutrition but most likely you will lose weight too. This means following some simple rules:
- Choose whole grain foods like whole wheat bread, crackers and cereals, brown rice, oatmeal and barley.
- Eat a variety of colorful fruits and veggies.
- Eat small portions of heart healthy fats such as nuts, seeds and vegetable oils.
- Use low fat dairy products.
- Limit sweets and desserts, but also start eating less overall. (Keeping a simple food diary has been shown to help people lose weight, even if they’re not counting calories.)
- Eat breakfast every day. (This not only boosts your metabolism but helps you avoid cravings later in the day that can lead to carb or sugar binges.)
At Stop Aging Now, we’ve reported on a variety of research which has shown that certain supplements, in addition to the healthy habits mentioned above, can help your efforts to reshape your future so that you can avoid the devastating effects of diabetes.
Read more about:
- How chromium and biotin can help regulate hard to control blood sugar.
- Carb blockers and how they can help you fight diabetes and lose weight when taken with high or moderately high carbohydrate meals.
- A specific form of vitamin E, which helps fight the inflammation diabetics and pre-diabetics are prone to and may help delay the onset of type 2 diabetes.
- Cinnamon, which started receiving a lot of attention when a study suggested that it could lower fasting blood glucose by 18% to 30%. It increases insulin sensitivity, andhelps to move sugar from the bloodstream into cells.
- Curcumin and a study that showed it may improve insulin resistance and glucose tolerance in just six weeks.
- How green tea can improve insulin sensitivity and more.
The Anti-Aging Bottom Line: Diabetes is fast reaching epidemic proportions. New statistics released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicate that cases of type 2 diabetes in the U.S. have gone up 90% in the last ten years. The disease can cause degeneration of many systems of the body, and often goes undiagnosed for years. Make sure you get your blood sugar checked annually. And if you develop diabetes, supplement your diet with antioxidants to help protect against potentially serious complications.
Written exclusively for Stop Aging Now, the authority on anti-aging research, anti-aging nutrition, and anti-aging supplements.