The Most Important Eating Habit For Diabetes Prevention

To lessen your chances of developing insulin resistance, avoid taking the blood sugar roller coaster.

Your risk of type 2 diabetes is strongly impacted by what and how you consume. So it makes sense to reduce sugar—the substance that contributes most directly to the fatal disease—regularly.

According to the National Institutes of Health, more than 10% of Americans, or 34 million people, have diabetes. Prediabetes, a condition marked by blood sugar levels that are high but not yet at the threshold indicating type 2 diabetes, affects an additional 88 million individuals or 34.5% of Americans.

Insulin resistance is the condition in which your body either doesn't create enough insulin or uses it inefficiently to maintain a healthy level of blood sugar. The hormone makes your cells numb, which hinders their ability to utilise glucose for energy effectively. Type 2 diabetes and insulin resistance are frequently linked.

According to the statistics above, the condition is so widespread that many individuals might not be aware of how grave and terrifying it is. Obesity, cardiovascular disease, non-alcoholic fatty liver, and dementia are all linked to type 2 diabetes.

If realizing the potentially fatal consequences of a diabetes diagnosis has rekindled your desire to reduce your sugar intake, excellent! Here's another thought, though: Establish eating practices that prevent diabetes rather than concentrating on eliminating carbohydrates and sugars from your diet. Because giving up your favourite meals may be so hard, concentrate on finding healthy eating alternatives. That brings us to the key eating behaviour that many nutritionists believe would help prevent diabetes:

Eat as though you had diabetes already.

According to Wendy Bazilian, a registered dietitian nutritionist and doctor of public health who is also an exercise physiologist recognized by the American College of Sports Medicine, "the diet we should all be on is the best diet for diabetics." "You require a continual, continuous flow of blood glucose to reach the cells" to successfully create energy.

This is because healthy metabolism depends on blood sugar levels that are steady. It also has an impact on your energy levels, sleep quality, emotions and cognition, as well as the way your immune system works.

According to registered dietitian Catherine Sebastian, MS, RD, manager of health communications at The Wonderful Company, "Uneven eating patterns, including missing meals and eating excessively at supper because you're famished, generate too many blood sugar spikes, which raise the risk for diabetes."

The fact that this advice largely follows the same healthy eating pattern that promotes heart health, lowers inflammation, avoids weight gain and obesity, and lowers the risk of some malignancies makes it seem radical, but it is extremely reasonable and attainable.

You don't have to fully give up carbohydrates while "eating like you already have diabetes," which is another crucial point to keep in mind.
Cutting off carbohydrates is a myth, claims Sebastian. "You want fibre-rich carbs. Additionally, every meal should contain a source of protein."

Dr Bazilian adds, "And some fat." "Include carbohydrates, fat, and protein in your meal." By consuming the three macronutrients, you can be sure you're obtaining nutrients like fibre that help you feel fuller and decrease the absorption of sweets into your circulation.

How to begin this behaviour

It can be difficult to develop the habit of eating like someone who already has diabetes, just as it can be difficult to adopt any pattern. The secret, according to Nick Frye, MS, a certified clinical professional counsellor and behavioural counselling manager for OPTAVIA, a weight loss and health coaching organization, is to decide to commit to your health and well-being before making any adjustments to your daily life.

Finding your "why" is the first stage, or as he puts it, "the basic option." "It's a deliberate decision to find and adhere to your north star. It's a mentality change that lays the groundwork and direction for upcoming action. All future behaviours will be formed to support your initial decision."

So, for instance, if you want to develop the habit of eating like a diabetic, the first step is to decide what benefits you want to derive from it. Personalize it with something emotionally significant to you, such as "so I can be healthy enough to dance at my granddaughter's wedding in 20 years," if your goal is to "optimize my health and prevent diabetes."

Frye advises, "Mindfully and purposefully become the author of your tale." While skipping this mental exercise and acting too soon may produce short-term success, doing so will probably lead to long-term failure.

Taking tiny steps as the next step

Remember the First Law of Motion of Newton? Unless a force from outside the body acts upon it, a body at rest will stay at rest. The idea behind creating habits is that you have to get moving and then keep going. Frye advises beginning little with micro habits because "Small, repetitive actions produce big effects. Habits prepare people for long-lasting transformation."

On the American Diabetes Association website and other websites, you may get tips on how to eat like a diabetic. But to begin with, include these little routines into your day and see where they go.

Within an hour of waking, eat something.

Carly Knowles, MS, RDN, a registered dietitian nutritionist with Organic Valley, an autonomous cooperative of organic growers, says, "Put something in your mouth, break your fast." "It fixes a great deal. It creates the mentality that eating comes first."

Knowles also treats pregnant diabetic patients in private practice. She advises them to eat for energy first thing in the morning as her best piece of advice. "It is more important to eat something, whether it is five almonds or a few spoonfuls of yoghurt. If not, you risk having a blood sugar collapse before lunch, which might result in brain fog, cravings, and binge eating."

Proceed with caution.

Go half and a half if you're having problems making the jump from white bread to 100% whole wheat but are trying to prevent it. Make whole grains up to half of your daily intake, and the other half should come from enriched refined grains, advises Elana Natkier, MS, RD, a registered dietitian and consultant to the Grain Foods Foundation.

Consuming the enriched bread will guarantee that you receive the additional iron, folate, vitamin A, and thiamine while lowering your chance of developing diabetes. Nattier cites a review of data published in Advances in Nutrition in 2019 that revealed no correlation between consumption of refined grains and risk of type 2 diabetes when comparing groups with high and low intake.

Take a position.

Brazilian further advises forming this micro-habit: after finishing a meal, stand up. Your brain receives a signal that the meal is over just from the act of eating. Standing up stimulates the digestive process and signals our cells to open up so they can accept blood sugar, says Bazilian. The same applies to eating your meals with a stroll afterwards. She cites research published in Sports Medicine that demonstrates that, compared to sitting or lying down after eating, even two minutes of walking can enhance blood sugar levels.

Drink this.

Drink some water before each meal. It will probably sate your extreme appetite and prevent you from overeating. According to Bazilian, overeating can also throw your blood sugar out of whack. The health effects of consuming too much of any one macronutrient might also be felt.

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