With the overdose of advice that surrounds us about leading a healthy life, some of us actually want to look the other way. Our hectic life dictated by gadgets, leave us unmindful to the right choices which have the indomitable power to shape the quality of our life. The onset of diseases like diabetes is largely determined by lifestyle choices.
The right lifestyle choice early on reduces your risk towards diabetes. Devoting time to switch to a lifestyle that makes you more resistant to diabetes will have you spend lesser time and effort in controlling it later. Controlling diabetes after its onset is stressful and time consuming and in some cases expensive too. Dr Nagesh S., Family Physician, MBBS, Consultant Physician, Medall Clumax, Bengaluru highlights things that when moderated or avoided keeps you away from the disease.
1. Be wary of pre-diabetes: Youth is never the clean chit to good health. One needs a health check-up to determine that. And most often, our body gives out a lot of signals warning us about onset of diabetes. A simple fasting sugar or average glucose (HbA1c) can tell us if we are close to the condition. Simple changes in your diet and physical activity at this stage can reverse side effects and prevent diabetes.
2. Limit or avoid alcohol: The debate here is about making healthy choices. And that also means a sacrifice on the things you may enjoy or use to unwind or socialize. Remember moderation is the key to living a life free from diabetes. Your occasional drinks cannot be a cause for concern but getting drunk every weekend, or binge drinking is definitely a problem. Consuming more than 3 drinks over 2-3 hours increases blood sugar apart from increasing calories.
3. Quit smoking: Smokers are 30- 40 per cent more likely to develop diabetes than non –smokers. The more you smoke, the higher the risk for type 2 diabetes. Smoking damages tissues and cells increasing the risk of inflammation. Smoking increases the risk for glucose intolerance and accumulates belly fat thereby increasing the risk for diabetes.
4. Drink more water: This magical liquid is the key to keeping you hydrated, active and alert and help you stay away from binge eating. Drinking lots of water increases your metabolism and digestion aiding the body to process starch and sugars faster and better.
5. Exercise regularly: This is a change for good and one this is loaded with immense benefits. Physical activity is the main driver of better health. While helping you process glucose better, exercise helps you lose weight too. Helping in insulin sensitivity and countering insulin resistance, exercise also lowers blood pressure and the harmful effects of LDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
6. Lose weight: A healthy weight goes a long way in determining the quality of your life as you age. All lifestyle diseases start or worsen with weight gain and obesity. Abdominal fat and a high waist circumference increase your risk for diabetes.
7. Cut sugar and refined carbs: Moderate and limit your intake of food which is high in carbohydrate and sugar. It increases your calorie count apart from giving your body a glucose rush. Switch to a balanced meal that is high in fibre (vegetables) along with the right amounts of protein (meat or dairy products)
8. Avoid sedentary behaviours: When you sit for long hours the cells of your muscles do not respond immediately to the insulin produced by the pancreas. This lack of response forces the pancreas to produce more insulin which leads to diabetes. Sitting decreases your physical activity levels which raise blood glucose.
Invest in your health when you are young. Diabetes and every other lifestyle related disease can be prevented.