10 Easy Ways to Prevent Diabetes Naturally
Diabetes is a global pandemic that can cause blindness, kidney failure, stroke, and even cancer. The WHO estimate that as many as 1.5 million deaths per year may be directly caused by diabetes.
It is said that prevention is better than cure. With many medicines and supplements available, nothing beats natural preventive methods.
In this post, we’ll discuss 10 natural things you can be doing now to prevent diabetes. Let’s start with the first one.
1. Drink a lot of water
No matter how plain or boring water may seem, drinking a lot may reduce your chances of developing type 2 diabetes.
Compared to drinks and juices, water has no added calories, sweeteners, or preservatives added. Therefore, drinking plain water doesn't cause your sugar to rise. Instead, it helps flush out toxins from your blood. So when there’s a bit of excess sugar in your blood, drinking a lot of water can help get rid of it and hence keep your blood sugar in check.
If you have a problem drinking water, many awesome hydrating apps are available to help - our favourite is Hydro Coach.
Apart from avoiding calories in drinks, you also need to avoid meals that are high in carbs.
2. Reduce carb intake
There are carbs in almost everything we eat these days. And that’s where the problem is. As you know already, the high blood glucose level is a result of glucose remaining in your blood. Eating refined sugar increases the amount of glucose introduced into your blood. Over time, your body is less able to manage these levels.
Instead of eating unhealthy carbs, why not substitute them with more fibre and proteins. Meat, fish, eggs, and vegetables are great foods to choose from. You can check online for some amazingly delicious and healthy recipes from these foods.
3. Eat more fibre and proteins
Fibre slows down the rate at which your body absorbs glucose. So when you add fibre to your diet, it helps prevent your sugar from shooting up. Here’s another fact about fibre . Did you know that fibre doesn’t digest when you eat it? It remains the same from when you ate it until it comes out of your body. Adding fibre to your meal reduces your carb intake because the fibre has replaced extra carbs. This would help reduce the amount of glucose introduced into your body. That is why fibre is an ideal food group if you want to prevent high blood sugar levels.
Oatmeal, vegetables, whole grains, and different kinds of beans are all good sources of fibre.
Following a strict diet is hard to keep up with. Therefore, it’ll be better to look through these food items and create recipes that you like. That way, preventing diabetes would be a fun activity. Another thing to look out for is your weight, especially around your mid-section.
Assess average blood sugar levels & risk from Type 2 diabetes.
4. Check your weight
Excess fat around your waist and abdomen, also known as visceral fat, causes insulin resistance and has been known to increase your risk of diabetes. Start taking steps now to reduce weight by eating healthy fats and vegetables and exercising regularly.
Generally, following the tips in this post would help you not only prevent diabetes but also keep your weight in check. But if you need help with losing weight, then read this post from the Healthline blog.
5. Exercise portion control
With more sugar introduced into the body, insulin has a hard time moving the glucose into your body's cells. With time, the body becomes resistant to the effects of insulin, with more sugar remaining in your blood. Then there you have it, full-blown diabetes. That is why you need to control the amount of food you eat at once.
The easiest way to do this is to use a smaller plate for food. It’s a way of tricking the brain that you have so much food that has covered the plate. You can also drink water before you start your meal. That way part of the stomach would be filled before you eat your meal. So you don't overeat. If you need help with controlling your food portion, check out this Healthline blogpost. It’ll give you all you need to reduce gluttony.
6. Reduce processed foods as much as possible
Processed foods come in many forms. Chips, bread, cakes, sausages, or anything that comes in packaging are all examples of processed foods.
These foods are high in calories that take a long time to digest. Hence, eating them causes high blood sugar levels.
Instead of eating processed foods, why not substitute them with healthier alternatives. You can go for fruits instead of fruit juice, or potatoes for snacks instead of chips. After you’ve reduced processed food, it’s time to avoid sitting, playing games, or watching TV for long hours a day.
Assess average blood sugar levels & risk from Type 2 diabetes.
7. Reduce sedentary life
It is easy to live a sedentary lifestyle, especially if you work in an office or you’re always home. Research has shown that a sedentary lifestyle causes between four to five million deaths globally. Apart from death, staying inactive for a long time causes cancer, diabetes, heart disease, or stroke.
A simple way to reduce sedentary life in an office is to walk around after working every half an hour. You can also opt to stand whenever you have a call. And when at home, try to get your body moving by doing chores instead of relaxing and having fun. These small daily efforts would go a long way to prevent diabetes naturally.
8. Exercise regularly
Exercising regularly helps your body use insulin properly. When insulin is utilized effectively in your body, controlling your blood sugar levels wouldn’t be a challenge.
Of course, you don’t have to spend hours in the gym to reap the full benefits of exercise. Thirty minutes of exercise a day can go a long way in helping you keep type 2 diabetes at bay. Brisk walking, gardening, jumping ropes, or dancing all count as exercises. If you haven’t already, simply find one that you enjoy doing and get started immediately.
There are simple ways to incorporate exercise into your daily life. For instance, whenever you walk, you can make it a brisk one. You can opt to use the stairs instead of the elevator. You can also take a stroll in your area. Doing house chores is also a fine exercise that stay-at-home mums can engage in. Always find ways and means to keep your body moving every day.
9. Intermittent fast once a while
For those who don’t know yet, intermittent fasting is the deliberate avoidance of food within a particular time frame and eating the remaining hours. Research has shown that practicing intermittent fasting improves blood sugar levels and increases insulin sensitivity and helps control sugar levels. It’s understandable. In the fasting window, your body makes use of the free sugar in your blood and those hiding in other parts of the body. As you continue fasting, you’d find that excess sugar in your body would be used up and your blood sugar would be more stable.
Intermittent fasting is not hard to practice. When you start eating at 9 am and eat nothing except water after 5 pm, that gives you 16 hours of fasting until the next meal at 9 am.
Practice this eating method for a while and see how significantly your sugar levels can improve.
10. Reduce alcohol and quit the smoke
Some alcoholic drinks like champagne has calories added to them. The more you drink it, the more you introduce sugar into your body. Hence more room for high blood sugar.
Alcohol is also an appetizer and hence makes you eat a lot after you drink it. It also clouds your judgment and makes you make wrong choices in food. Drinking alcohol only makes it difficult to control your diet and prevent diabetes.
That doesn’t mean alcohol is entirely bad. The bottom line is to drink in moderation. You can make it a goal never to drink more than two drinks a day. Also, try not to drink alcohol on an empty stomach.
Keep in mind that these points are not items on an inflexible list that must be checked off one by one before you can prevent diabetes. However, when you incorporate these tips into our daily life and become flexible with them, you’d find that preventing diabetes naturally is a rather fun and interesting thing to do. Most of all, you wouldn’t be preventing diabetes alone, but your overall health would improve significantly.
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Article Reviewed By
Dr. Kate Bishop |Chief Scientific OfficerKate qualified with a BSc (Hons) in Biochemistry from the University of Birmingham in 1999. She then went on to study for a PhD in Biochemistry, before progressing as College Research Business Development Manager. In addition to her role within Vitall she is currently the director of operations at the College of Medical and Dental Sciences.