Managing Type 2 Diabetes with a Healthy Lifestyle
Especially if newly diagnosed with diabetes, great concern may be placed on its successful control. From busy workdays to helping children with homework, the thought of adding one more task is overwhelming. However, managing diabetes does not have to be based on a strict, 1,000-page guideline, but rather by making simple modifications towards a healthy lifestyle!
What is Type 2 Diabetes?
Diabetes is a condition in which the body is unable to efficiently utilize glucose from carbohydrate sources, primarily related to an inept or a lack of insulin. A hormone produced by the pancreas, insulin facilitates the entry of glucose within the cells. When glucose is unable to enter the cells, it remains in the bloodstream and produces high blood glucose or sugar. In type 1 diabetes, compromised glucose utilization is affected by destroyed cells of the pancreas, ultimately causing insulin to become scarce and absent. Type 2 diabetes, the most common type among the U.S. population, is mostly caused by overweight and obesity and mostly leads to insulin resistance. But unlike type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes can be prevented or delayed by managing weight and lifestyle patterns.
How to Control Diabetes
Diet plays a large, if not the largest, role in diabetes management. Particularly in type 2 diabetes, being overweight is a significant risk factor towards its development and demonstrating marked improvements in its regulation following weight loss. A diabetic diet is essentially a nutritious diet, filled with wholesome and nourishing sources, including whole grains, fruits and veggies, dairy products, lean proteins, and healthy fat sources. But in addition to food quality, the timing of meals is also encouraged, as smaller and more frequent meals can help keep blood sugars regulated throughout the day.
Exercise is continually promoted for heart health and dabbled into in hopes to facilitate weight loss. And while reaching and maintaining a healthy weight can assist in diabetes management, exercise can also help stabilize blood sugars in people living with diabetes. When the body is active, it seeks out available glucose for energy, subsequently reducing circulating blood sugar levels. Find your fitspiration here!
Sleep your way to diabetes management! It is not surprising insufficient sleep disrupts mental clarity and a sharpened ability to focus. What is a little unexpected, though, is the repercussions poor sleeping habits has on health. Evolving research suggests tired individuals are more likely to crave and consume innutritious foods, gain weight, and increase their risk of developing diabetes. Achieve the recommended seven to nine hours of sleep each night by turning off all lights and electronics or taking a bite out of these nutritious foods that help you sleep.
Feelings of stress transpire not only into outward anxieties and panics, but can internally reap havoc. When the body undergoes both physical or mental stress, it prepares to act on based on a fight-or-flight response, offering the cells available energy in the form of stored glucose or fat. During a flight-or-fight response, faulty insulin may cause the stimulated glucose to remain in the blood, rather than into the cells. The American Diabetes Association (ADA) suggests developing a coping style, breathing exercises, replacing bad thoughts with good ones, and other techniques may reduce mental stress.