From an article in the NY Times
Nearly 29.1 million Americans have diabetes. This year alone, almost 2 million American adults and more than 5,000 children and adolescents will learn they also have type 2 diabetes. This largely preventable disease claims nearly 200,000 lives a year. The fatality rate among affected adults is 50% higher than among similar people without diabetes.
Recent studies have linked diabetes to an increased risk in other diseases such as Alzheimer’s and have also shown an increased risk of dementia. The same is true for those who do not yet have diabetes but have above average blood glucose levels.
Excess weight, the primary risk factor, can run in families. There are ways to combat this disease with proper nutrition, weight loss and activity. Though the numbers are daunting and it can be difficult to lose weight, it is not impossible. It is however, easier and more effective to avoid the risks of getting type 2 diabetes in the first place.
Here are some tips on diet and exercise to keep you healthy, active and living a longer more productive life:
- Avoid drastic measures. Making gradual changes to your diet in what and how you eat allows your body time to adjust. One study showed that people with pre-diabetes who had moderate weight loss (avg, of 12 lbs), reduced their odds of progressing to diabetes by nearly 50 percent.
- Concentrate on food choices and gradually reduce portion sizes. You don’t have to count calories but it can be helpful to keep a food journal for each day.
- Carbohydrates- breads, grains, cereals, sugary drinks, and sweets. Carbs are metabolized to glucose, which raises the body’s demand for insulin. Try consuming less of them in general and choose whole grain when possible.
- Fruit juice vs. Soda- Fruit juice is not necessarily safer than soda. All drinks with fructose (table sugar, high fructose corn syrup, honey or agave) may increase body weight, insulin resistance and belly fat.
- More Coffee- two or three cups of coffee a day have been consistently linked to a lower risk of Type 2 diabetes. Take your coffee black or artificially sweetened. Be cautious with specialty coffee drinks- they can be loaded with sugar and calories.
Blog post by Farran Jalbert.