Diabetes Mellitus refers to a group of diseases characterized by high blood glucose levels due to the body’s inability to produce or use insulin. After a meal, blood glucose remains high and hyperglycemia (high blood sugar) results.
Overtime, high blood glucose from Diabetes can damage blood vessels in the heart. The longer you have Diabetes, the higher your chances of developing heart disease. In adults with diabetes, the most common causes of death are heart attack and stroke.
Most cases of adult diabetes in the United States are Type 2 and the number continues to grow with skyrocketing rates of obesity. Diagnosed cases of Type 2 Diabetes are now on the rise in children, as well.
Your chances of developing Type 2 Diabetes depend on risk factors such as diet and lifestyle.
The good news is that Type 2 Diabetes can be delayed, prevented or reversed with simple diet and lifestyle changes.
Below is a list of the top 8 habits that can cause Type 2 Diabetes:
- 1. Eating too much of the wrong foods and wrong portion sizesThis can lead to weight gain. Being overweight or obese is one of the greatest risk factors for developing Type 2 Diabetes. The more adipose (fat) tissue you have, the more inflammation you have and the more likely your cells are at becoming resistant to the action of insulin leading to high blood glucose.
- 2. Unhealthy meal planning choicesA meal that lacks fiber and is rich in refined sugar and processed carbohydrates can easily lead to weight gain, insulin resistance and Type 2 Diabetes. Meal planning is essential to making healthy diet choices.
- 3. Physical inactivityPhysical activity is needed to regulate blood glucose levels. Lack of physical activity is associated with an increased risk of Type 2 diabetes. This is because regular activity reduces blood glucose when the body’s cells use it for energy. Additionally, it helps to make the cells more sensitive to insulin and helps to manage normal weight.
- 4. Not taking care of your heartHigh blood pressure is linked to an increased risk of Type 2 Diabetes. It has been shown that people with high blood pressure are 50% more likely to develop this disease. There’s a strong link between high blood pressure and diabetes.
- 5. Not getting enough sunshineThe sun is responsible for regulating cholesterol levels and converting cholesterol in the skin to vitamin D. Abnormal cholesterol levels are an independent risk factor for Type 2 Diabetes. Low levels of HDL, or the “good” cholesterol, is associated with a greater risk of Type 2 Diabetes. Additionally, low vitamin D levels have been associated with high body fat, high blood glucose and increased insulin resistance.
- 6. Drinking too much alcoholIncreased alcohol intake can reduce the body’s cells sensitivity to insulin, which can trigger Type 2 Diabetes. Binge drinking is linked to increased chances of developing metabolic syndrome and insulin resistance, both of which are risk factors for Type 2 Diabetes.
What can you do to prevent Type 2 Diabetes?
- Eat a Paleo dietAn organic, Paleo diet is full of the right foods for health and disease prevention. It is loaded with fiber-rich vegetables, antioxidants to lower inflammation and key nutrients to aid in blood sugar regulation. It also eliminates processed foods, refined carbs and sugar and unnecessary additives that can contribute to cellular dysfunction.
- Lose weightWeight loss is one of the most important factors when it comes to preventing, or reversing Type 2 Diabetes. Weight loss can restore cellular function, decrease insulin resistance and ultimately lower blood glucose and the risk of Diabetes.
- Schedule a functional medicine nutrition consultOne of the best tools for success when it comes to changing diet and lifestyle is through the help of a nutrition professional. Schedule an hour-consult with our nutritionist to review diet, lifestyle and key tips to success when it comes to losing weight and keeping it off.
- Move your body moreA sedentary lifestyle is one of the greatest risk factors for developing Type 2 Diabetes. Lack of physical activity leads to weight gain and high blood glucose. Aim to exercise at least 3 to 5 times per week. Walk, run, bike, or hike…just keep your body moving!
- Decrease insulin resistanceInsulin resistance is a form of prediabetes and can be experienced 10 years prior to any diagnosis of Diabetes. This is usually due to excess weight or lack of physical activity. Take steps now to lose weight, eat a Paleo diet, move your body and work on getting healthy to prevent Type 2 Diabetes in the future.
- Reduce blood pressureHypertension is a risk factor for Type 2 Diabetes. Monitor your blood pressure regularly and if it is elevated take steps to reduce it. We know that blood pressure can be controlled naturally. This occurs through weight loss, exercise, eating the right diet and supplements.
- Get regular sunshineSunshine converts the cholesterol in your skin into vitamin D. This is the body’s natural way of regulating cholesterol levels. Abnormal cholesterol levels are an independent risk factor for Type 2 Diabetes. Be sure to get in the sun for at least 20 minutes every day.
- Take Berberine, a supplement that controls blood sugarBerberine is a compound that comes from plants. It has been shown in studies to be effective at regulating glucose metabolism and lowering blood glucose. Berberine has also been shown to help with weight loss and improve heart health. We believe this supplement “does it all”.