Lifestyle changes can help tame the diabetes epidemic
Type 2 diabetes (T2D), now epidemic in the United States, is a national tragedy, as 1 in 3 Americans - born in the 21st century - are expected to become diabetic, even young children.
I call it tragic because more than 90% of T2D cases are preventable - with fairly simple changes in lifestyle. Diabetes is the leading cause of blindness, kidney failure, non-traumatic limb amputation, and nerve damage. Diabetes increases the likelihood of stroke and heart disease by 2-4 times; Alzheimer’s disease is 60% more likely. There is no end to diabetes complications.
The following are the “fairly simple” lifestyle changes you can make to prevent/reverse T2D, pre-diabetes or insulin resistance:
1. Nurture a consciousness of health (physical, psychological, emotional and spiritual) in your family.
2. Strive for a balanced lifestyle that includes: enough sleep, building solid relationships, eating meals in peace.
3. If your heart is healthy, get a pedometer and walk everywhere you can, working up to 10,000 steps per day (about 5 miles) or do other aerobic activity, such as swimming or bicycling 45-60 minutes per day.
4. For optimal hormone balance, build muscle mass to slow the aging process.
5. Especially if you are overweight at the waist, get your fasting insulin taken; if it is higher than 10, cut out obvious carbohydrates (potatoes, bread, pasta, breakfast cereals, etc) from your diet.
6. Ideal meals consist of: healthy protein (i.e. wild salmon, beans, lentils, organic meat, poultry and eggs), healthy fats (i.e. oils: extra virgin olive, macadamia nut, cold-pressed canola, coconut, fish, flax; nuts and seeds, avocadoes), low glycemic load, high soluble fiber carbohydrates (i.e. oat bran, quinoa, other whole grains, beans, lentils, vegetables, berries, cherries, etc.). The combination of fats, proteins, and soluble fiber slows the absorption of carbohydrates.
7. Meals made from scratch will almost always be healthier than restaurant/fast food/packaged, processed foods - often loaded with hydrogenated oils and sodium, and without potassium.
8. If diabetic/pre-diabetic, monitor your blood sugar 2 hours after at least one meal per day, in a notebook, listing all foods/drinks for that meal. Analyze which meals are glucose healthy and which need to be changed.
9. If stress is a problem in your life, do saliva testing (more reliable than blood) for cortisol/DHEA hormones, to check status of your adrenal glands. Let go of controlling others, anger and resentment. Forgive yourself and others. If you don’t forgive, your health will be jeopardized.
If you implement these lifestyle changes and attitudes, your blood sugar balance will improve.
For more information, contact Dr. Dennis Godby, NMD at email@example.com or 530-400-1385.
Dr. Dennis Godby, Doctor of Naturopathy, Sutter Medical Foundation.
He may be reached online or at his Sacramento Office (916) 446-2591.
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