November is National Diabetes Month. Not only is this of great importance to me because of the growing number of diabetes diagnosis each year, but this is also close to home for me because two of my brothers live with Type 1 Insulin Dependent Diabetes Mellitus. One was diagnosed at the age of 4 and the other at the age of 25, both after becoming ill from viral infections.
This year’s attention for National Diabetes Month is on preventing diabetes and pre-diabetes. Pre-diabetes is a term used to describe blood sugar levels are above normal but still below the diabetes threshold. Pre-diabetes blood sugar can be such as regular exercise and nutritious diet.
However, if ignored, pre-diabetes blood sugar levels can climb causing the body to respond by producing more insulin. When more insulin is circulating in the blood, the cells can become “desensitized” to the presence of insulin causing the insulin resistance that leads to Type 2 Diabetes.
The good news, both pre-diabetes and Type 2 Diabetes are almost always 100% controllable with lifestyle factors alone. Read here how Lee’s doctor was able to take him off of all diabetes medication within 5 months of starting MOTIVFIT’s Therapeutic Nutrition Coaching program.
Lifestyle factors also play a role in reducing the risk of developing the autoimmune response known to cause Type 1 Diabetes. For those that already have Type 1 Diabetes, lifestyle modifications will help to stabilize blood sugar, in turn reducing the risk of long term complications such as neuropathy, heart disease, and blindness.
So what steps can you take to prevent diabetes for yourself?
I’m glad you asked.1. Move more.
Increased activity not only reduces blood sugar but it increases your insulin sensitivity which means your body is able to metabolize blood sugar more effectively by taxing the pancreas less.
Aim to get at least 30 minutes or more of moderate intensity movement per day on most days of the week. It is best to exercise 1-2 hours after a meal. Note: if you are insulin-dependent, be sure to check your blood sugar prior to exercise.2. Eat less.
Refined sugars and grains are not only lacking in the nutrient department, but they are processed quickly in the digestive tract and can raise blood sugar rapidly. It’s best to keep foods like crackers, chips, breads, cereals, and treats out of the house all together so that you aren’t bothered with the temptation.
If you are diabetic or pre-diabetic, aim to keep your daily sugar intake under 20 grams per day. A quick look at the food label will tell you how much sugar is in the foods you’re eating.3. Eat more.
Fiber from vegetables like broccoli, protein from lean animal sources like chicken, and healthy fats like avocado. These foods work synergistically and combining vegetables, protein, and fat together in one meal helps to provide your body with the vitamins and nutrients it needs to function optimally to keep blood sugar levels stabilized.
You’ll also want to eat more foods known to reduce blood sugar and increase insulin sensitivity such as cinnamon, garlic, and turmeric. Be sure to see this month’s recipe for Hot Cinnamon Tea 4. Improve immune function.
Not only can stress from illness raise blood sugar, but coxsackievirus, enterovirus, and SARS-CoV-2 virus are all clinically documented to be linked to the autoimmune response in the body responsible for damaging the insulin producing beta cells of the pancreas that cause Type 1 diabetes.
Maintaining a strong immune system with a nourishing meal plan, regular exercise, reduced toxins, adequate sleep, and immune boosting supplementation may help to prevent infections that can lead to an autoimmune onset.
Many of the health problems plaguing today’s society, such as diabetes, are a result of poor nutrition and lifestyle factors. MOTIVFIT fitness and nutrition coaching helps support your body and enhance its ability to heal.
If you have diabetes, or pre-diabetes, or you know someone who does, schedule a complimentary Health and Lifestyle Evaluation
to learn how you can successfully lower blood sugar levels naturally.