Diabetes Awareness Month: Health Tips from NorthCrest

Did you know that 34.2 million Americans have diabetes? Diabetes is a chronic health condition where one’s body is unable to produce insulin or use it effectively. Insulin, a hormone made by the pancreas, allows our body to process glucose from the food we eat and help it pass through the bloodstream to produce energy. This condition causes raised glucose levels in the blood, or hyperglycemia, which often leads to the deterioration of various internal organs and tissues. 

There are two main types of diabetes, Type 1, in which one’s body produces little to no insulin, and Type 2, in which your body does not make good use of the insulin it produces. While Type 1 diabetes is unpreventable, Type 2 is. It’s never too late to start changing your lifestyle, so let’s take a look at some tips and tricks to maintain your health and help prevent Type 2 diabetes. 

Incorporate More Physical Activity Into Your Day

One of the first things you can do to help prevent diabetes is to incorporate more physical activity into your day! There are many benefits to regular physical exercise such as maintaining or losing weight, lowering your blood sugar, boosting your insulin sensitivity–which stabilizes your blood sugar– and even boosting your mental health! While aerobic exercise and resistance training can largely help you achieve a healthy weight, these activities are key to prevent chronic illnesses.

Get More Fiber

Whether you currently have diabetes or are actively trying to reduce your risk for Type 2, fiber has a big impact on your diet. Incorporating more daily fiber into your diet can help improve your blood sugar control, lower your risk of heart disease, and help you feel full for fewer carbs. Foods to look for that are high in fiber include fruits, vegetables, beans, whole grains and nuts.

Incorporate Whole Grains Into Your Diet

Another food to help maintain your blood sugar levels is whole grains! What’s even better is that many foods made from whole grains come ready to eat. This includes various bread, pasta, oats and cereals. Not only do whole grains help stabilize blood sugar, but the excess fiber and protein it provides also reduces your risk of heart disease, obesity and some forms of cancer

Make Healthier Choices

While you may choose to implement whole grains and more fiber into your diet, making overall healthy choices is extremely important. This does not mean dieting or restricting yourself to specific food groups. Instead, maintain your health by using portion control as part of your healthy-eating plan, while increasing your consumption of fruits and vegetables. 

Schedule a Visit With Your Doctor

If you’re feeling wary about your health or have a family history of diabetes, it may be time for you to schedule a doctor’s appointment. The American Diabetes Association recommends blood glucose screening if you’re age 45 or older, have a higher BMI, have a family history of diabetes or are experiencing prediabetes symptoms. After the age of 45, we also recommend diabetes screening every three years. Maintaining your health and preventing chronic illness includes regular check-ins with a healthcare professional, so be sure to schedule an appointment with your doctor today. 

To keep your health a top priority and learn more on how you can further prevent diabetes, contact NorthCrest Health today!