People with diabetes have trouble controlling blood sugar levels. Approximately 30 million children and adults in the United States have diabetes, according to the American Diabetes Association. Over time, diabetes can lead to serious problems, such as damage to the eyes, kidneys, and nerves. Diabetes can also cause heart disease, stroke, or the loss of a limb. Fortunately, you can take steps to reduce your risk for developing diabetes.
Tips to Reduce Your Risk for Developing Diabetes
Diabetes is a disease characterized by high blood sugar levels. Treatment, therefore, centers on lowering blood sugar levels and keeping them within normal limits.
One way to lower blood sugar levels is to reduce the amount of food you eat. Choose a 3-ounce hamburger, which is about the size of your fist, instead of the 6-ounce burger.
Share dessert. Splitting a sweet treat reduces the blood sugar of both you and your friend.
Put less food on your plate. Choose a smaller plate, which will make portions look larger.
Fill half of the plate with vegetables and fruit. Fill one-quarter of the plate with a protein source, such as lean chicken or fish, and one-quarter with whole grains. Wash it down with a glass of low-fat or skim milk.
Eat slowly. It takes about 20 minutes for your stomach to send a signal to your brain that you are full.
Turn off the television and opt for music or silence. The National Institutes of Health says that people eat more when watching TV.
Exercise more. Your muscles use blood sugar, also known as glucose, as instant energy. Exercise actually lowers blood sugar, as your body moves the glucose from your bloodstream into your muscles. Aim for 30 minutes of exercise on five or more days per week. Start by walking, then work your way up to bicycling, swimming, and dancing. Take the stairs instead of the elevator whenever possible.
Make healthy choices while eating out. Add spinach, broccoli, and peppers to pizza and other otherwise unhealthy foods. Order grilled chicken instead of a hamburger. Replace fries and chips with salad.
Cook with non-stick spray or low-salt broth instead of butter or oil. Choose foods with little or no added sugar. Opt for brown rice instead of white rice.
Drink water instead of juice or regular soda. Go for a whole orange instead of orange juice.
Start reading labels. Choose foods that are low in saturated fat, cholesterol, calories, added salt, and calories.
Speak with your doctor or healthcare provider for more tips for avoiding diabetes. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us at 770.730.0119 today to make an appointment with Virtual Imaging.