Diet and exercise for diabetics

The best way to fight diabetes is through lifestyle changes particularly by combining diet and exercise. This is not new. Diabetes researchers and other experts have always suggested lifestyle changes as the major weapon in fighting diabetes. Studies have shown that people can greatly reduce their chances of acquiring diabetes if they exercise and follow a healthy diet. Overweight individuals can reduce their risk of getting diabetes by more than 50 percent if they could lose at least 10 pounds.

This brings good news to individuals with a moderate or high risk of getting diabetes. It means that the changes that need to be implemented are not big and drastic. One needs only to employ some little changes in his or her lifestyle in order to prevent diabetes. This is so empowering for individuals since it means that they have control over the dreaded disease.

Obese and overweight individuals actually have less insulin receptors than people with normal weights. This explains why most people with diabetes are either overweight or obese. Excess fat makes an individual's body insensitive to insulin. This means that overweight individuals need more insulin than people with normal weight. This is why reducing weight would greatly lower an individual's chance of getting diabetes.

Diet change: one of the best way to fight diabetes

The key is to combine exercise with proper diet. Proper diet here not only refers to reducing calorie intake. It also means eating the right kind of food. One should avoid foods that are rich in fat particularly animal fat. They should also lessen their intake of red meat, dairy products and eggs. Processed and refined carbohydrates are big no-nos. These include refined sugar, white rice and white flour. Instead, one should consume whole grains like millet rice and unrefined rice (brown or red) and whole wheat.

There are foods that have an insulin-like effect in the body when consumed. Some examples of these are: cucumbers, garlic, soy, wheat germ, avocados, green beans, buckwheat, flaxseed oil, green vegetables (raw) and Brussel sprouts. People who believe that they are at risk of getting diabetes must increase their consumption of these foods.

Intake of fiber can also greatly reduce the risk of diabetes. High fiber foods are usually low in sugar. Individuals with diabetes or at risk of getting diabetes cannot process sugar properly, and are advised to increase their fiber intake by taking fiber supplements such as guar gum, psyllium, oat bran or glucomannan. They should also consume more vegetables, fruits, whole wheat products and whole grain products. Intake of white sugar and foods high with it must be cut. You must replace these foods with ones that have high fiber content.

People should also stay away from alcoholic drinks if they really want to avoid having diabetes. Alcohol decreases glucose tolerance especially in the elderly and those already at high risk of getting diabetes. Moreover, diabetics who consume even moderate quantities of alcoholic drinks have a greater risk of damaging their eyes and nerves. Apart from alcoholic drinks, smoking must also be avoided to be safe from getting diabetes. Cigarettes increases the risk for heart disease, kidney problems and other health concerns connected to diabetes. Heavy smokers are more likely to become diabetics than non-smokers. So if you are currently a smoker it is in your best interest to quit the habit. If you don't smoke then just don't pick up the habit.

Exercise protects you from diabetes

Both type 1 and 2 diabetes can be avoided and improved with a regular moderate exercise regimen. In fact, individuals with type 1 diabetes who exercise regularly require less insulin while healthy individuals who exercise regularly are less likely to develop type 2 diabetes. This is because working out reduces the amount of body fat and thus improves the sensitivity of the body to insulin.
 
The exercises need not be strenuous. Simple aerobic activities like walking, running, swimming and cycling can greatly improve blood sugar levels. Exercise improves the utilization of glucose by the muscles involved. This effect can last up to  two days or more. Blood fat profile and blood pressure which also affects diabetes also improves with regular exercise.

Individuals, especially those who are already diabetic, must monitor their blood sugar level when exercising. This is because exercise can either increase or decrease blood sugar. It is always advisable to ask your physician before going into an exercise program.