Diabetes and Better Eating

By Bailey Roden, Arizona Farm Bureau Intern

Do you suffer from diabetes or know someone who does? According to the American Diabetes Association, in 2015 30.3 million Americans had diabetes, this number includes both diagnosed and undiagnosed cases. According to Medical News Today diabetes occurs when the body’s ability to produce or respond to the hormone insulin is impaired, resulting in abnormal metabolism of carbohydrates and elevated levels of glucose in the blood and urine.

With a number of different types of diabetes, the common two we hear about are type one and type two. Type one is more common in children and is an autoimmune disease; where the body mistakes its own cells as invaders. Type two is more common in adults and has a number of conditions that are linked to the cause. Many assume bad eating is the main cause of diabetes. While that can be true, it is not the only leading component.

Diabetes can occur genetically; some individuals are just simply born with this disease. Another contributing factor to diabetes is prediabetes. Prediabetes is a condition in which an individual’s blood sugar is high, but not high enough to be type 2 diabetes. However, prediabetes can lead to type two diabetes. In the prediabetes stage, your cells are becoming resistant to insulin and your pancreas is unable to create enough insulin to overcome this resistance. In addition to the examples mentioned, diabetes has another instance when it can occur in the human body: gestational diabetes.

Gestational diabetes occurs during pregnancy due to the hormones the placenta is producing to sustain the pregnancy, making your cells more resistant to insulin.

If diabetes is a worry for you since other family members have it or you’ve been diagnosed as prediabetic here are 13 ways you can prevent diabetes, provided by health line:

  1. Cut sugar and refined carbs from your diet
  2. Work out regularly
  3. Make water your primary drink
  4. If you are approaching obesity, losing weight will help decrease your chances of diabetes
  5. If you are a smoker, quit smoking
  6. Make a low-carb diet your new best friend
  7. Work smaller portion sizes into your daily eating habits
  8. Refrain from sedentary behaviors
  9. Enjoy a high-fiber diet
  10. Increase your vitamin D levels
  11. Enjoy processed foods in moderation
  12. Introduce coffee and tea as your secondary drink
  13. Look into natural herbs to add to your diet

As you can see there are a number of contributing factors to diabetes. A bad diet is not the only cause of diabetes but it can play a vital part. Along with many other components to a healthy, happy life, keep in mind a healthy diet. If you’re not sure how to bring healthy meals into your household, check out Fill Your Plate for some incredible recipes and source our blog to discover nutritional strategies for better eating.

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