What is Type 2 Diabetes?
Type 2 diabetes is a chronic health condition in which an individual’s blood glucose or sugar levels become higher than normal, making it difficult to properly regulate body functions. It affects approximately 9.4% of the population in the United States and is the most common form of diabetes, accounting for up to 95% of cases. Since it is a preventable condition, it is important to know how to effectively manage and prevent type 2 diabetes.
Preventing and Managing Type 2 Diabetes with Diet and Exercise
One of the most effective ways to reduce the risk of Type 2 diabetes is to limit sugar-laden refined carbohydrates, while at the same time increasing physical activity. Reducing carbohydrates makes it easier for the body to access insulin and regulate blood sugar. However, if blood glucose levels are already higher than normal, then exercise can help lower them without needing to use insulin.
Eating fewer carbohydrates and limiting those that are high in sugar, especially those from refined sources is an effective way to reduce one’s risk for developing type 2 diabetes. This can be done by sticking to a diet high in complex carbohydrates such as whole grains, vegetables, and legumes. This type of diet is low in sugar and saturated fat, and high in dietary fiber. Additionally, it is important to limit processed and “junk” foods, which are high in sugar and calories.
Physical activity is also an important tool for reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes. Regular exercise can help to lower blood glucose levels, as it helps the body to more effectively use insulin. This is especially true for people who are overweight since being overweight can cause the body to become insulin resistant. Thus, increasing physical activity is essential for both preventing and managing type 2 diabetes.
Benefits of Reducing Refined Carbohydrates and Increasing Physical Activity
Scientific studies have shown that reducing carbohydrates and increasing physical activity can significantly lower the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. A study conducted by the MRC Epidemiology Unit in Cambridge in 2018, found that reducing carbohydrate intake and increasing physical activity could reduce the chance of developing diabetes by up to 40%.
Furthermore, increasing physical activity can help to reduce the need for additional medications, as it can lower blood glucose levels without insulin. Additionally, studies have shown that increased physical activity can also reduce levels of inflammation in the body, thus reducing the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
In conclusion, reducing sugar-laden refined carbohydrates and increasing physical activity are key to preventing and managing type 2 diabetes. Making sure to stick to a low-sugar, high-fiber diet and adding regular physical activity to one’s lifestyle can have a significant impact on one’s health. Additionally, these lifestyle changes can help to prevent the need for additional medications to help regulate blood glucose levels. Thus, for those at risk of developing type 2 diabetes, the importance of these lifestyle changes cannot be understated.