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Preventing Diabetes

October 13, 2008

Last year, over 1 million adults were diagnosed with diabetes. That’s more than 4,000 people every day. That’s crazy! Recently, diabetes experts from around the world gathered in New York City to discuss different techniques to help patients lose weight and get their blood sugar under control. They talked about the extreme measures of gastric bypass surgery and other surgeries. But mostly, they realized we have a long way to go with education and prevention.

Type 2 diabetes is largely caused by lifestyle choices like diet and exercise. Most Americans consume too many foods with refined sweets and added sugars found in doughnuts, candy bars and sodas. This type of diet disrupts our normal blood glucose levels which provide energy to the cells. Think about how you feel after a piece of cake. You have a ton of energy, right? This energy spike only lasts for an hour or so and then you crash, causing a roller-coaster effect.

It may take years for diabetes to develop, but more doctors realize the importance of intervening before our health truly takes a toll.  You don’t need to make drastic changes. Start to include more vegetables, fruits and whole grains into your diet. If you crave sweets, trying eating more sweet vegetables such as sweet potatoes or squash.

As you make changes to your diet you can also look at the role of exercise in your life. Try incorporating more movement into your day whether that is going for a walk, run, bike ride or a yoga class. Experiment with what works for you.

By making these changes you will not only decrease your chance of getting diabetes, but you may inspire others to make healthier lifestyle changes.