April 7th is a day dedicated to health awareness around the world. Sponsored by the World Health Organization, World Health Day was first celebrated in 1950. It is seen as the opportunity for the organization to draw attention to a major global health issue each year. And this year the WHO has decided to dedicate the day to diabetes, which is becoming a “global epidemic”.
There are three main types of diabetes: Type 1, which is caused by the deficiency of insulin production, type 2, which is largely the result of an unhealthy lifestyle, and gestational diabetes, which only appears during pregnancy. Type 2 diabetes can be prevented or delayed through simple changes in one’s lifestyle – maintaining a normal body weight, regular physical activity, and a healthy diet.
If nothing changes, diabetes will become the 7th leading cause of death worldwide by 2030.
Diabetes can be prevented
Tip : Get more physical activity
There are many benefits to regular physical activity. Exercise can help you:
- Lose weight
- Lower your blood sugar
- Boost your sensitivity to insulin — which helps keep your blood sugar within a normal range.
Research shows that both aerobic exercise and resistance training can help control diabetes, but the greater benefit comes from a fitness program that includes both.
Tip : Get plenty of fiber
It’s rough, it’s tough — and it may help you:
- Reduce your risk of diabetes by improving your blood sugar control
- Lower your risk of heart disease
- Promote weight loss by helping you feel full
Foods high in fiber include fruits, vegetables, beans, whole grains, nuts and seeds.
Tip : Lose extra weight
If you’re overweight, diabetes prevention may hinge on weight loss. Every pound you lose can improve your health, and you may be surprised by how much. Participants in one large study who lost a modest amount of weight — around 7 percent of initial body weight — and exercised regularly reduced the risk of developing diabetes by almost 60 percent.
Tip : Skip fad diets and just make healthier choices
Low-carb diets, the glycemic index diet or other fad diets may help you lose weight at first, but their effectiveness at preventing diabetes isn’t known nor are their long-term effects. And by excluding or strictly limiting a particular food group, you may be giving up essential nutrients. Instead, think variety and portion control as part of an overall healthy-eating plan.
Diabetes prevention is as basic as eating more healthfully, becoming more physically active and losing a few extra pounds — and it’s never too late to start. Making a few simple changes in your lifestyle now may help you avoid the serious health complications of diabetes down the road, such as nerve, kidney and heart damage.
Content Source: Internet and mayoclinic.org