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November 2014

Steps To Beat Type 2 Diabetes

Pre-diabetes and type 2 diabetes have one thing in common, that of insulin resistance.  This is the inability of the liver, (fat and muscle cells) to utilize insulin properly.  Insulin is required to move sugar from the blood into the cells where it is used for energy or stored for later use.  There are several factors that influence the risk of insulin resistance and developing diabetes including:  genetics, being  overweight, inactive or eating a poor diet.  With the exception of genetic make-up, all of these risk factors can be controlled.  In a Diabetes Prevention Program study, participants reduced their risk of type 2-diabetes by 58% after 3 years through life-style interventions.  Even 10-years after the study, these interventions lowered the risk by one-third.

  1. A Healthy Body Weight
    Excess body fat can promote insulin resistance, a major risk factor for type 2 diabetes which has been referred to as “diabesity”.
  2. Be Mindful of Timing & Balance
    Small frequent meals, 3-5 hours apart, that pair lean protein with carbohydrates minimizes spikes in sugar and insulin demands.  A small apple with low fat cheese is a great, balanced snack.
  3. Keep Moving
    Be active. Exercise improves the ability of insulin to work more effectively and activity promotes weight loss.  Most days of the week aim for 30 minutes of physical activity.  Check with your doctor before beginning an exercise program.
  4. Eat Your Vegetables
    Vegetables contain fiber and are low in calories and carbohydrates.  They minimize spikes in blood sugar which improves insulin resistance and can aid in weight loss.  Half your plate at lunch and dinner should be colorful vegetables.
  5. Include Whole Grains & Healthy Fats in Moderation
    Whole grains may reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes; however; scientific evidence is very limited.  When having starches, choose whole grain products as they offer better nutrition.  One serving should have just 15 grams of carbohydrates with at least 3-5 grams of fiber.  Always have lean protein with grains.

Fat will minimize spikes in blood sugar and make you feel full; however; all are high in calories and will promote weight gain.  Healthy fats include: olive oil, nuts and avocado.  Avoid trans fats and minimize saturated fat.


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