How Can You Prevent Diabetes?
There are many factors that put you at risk for diabetes, but how can you prevent diabetes from happening to you? Here are some lifestyle changes you can make.
Millions of people suffer diabetes every day. If left untreated, it can lead to blindness, heart disease, and kidney failure. So how can you prevent diabetes?
First, know what your risk factors are. Your genes, age, health, and behavior all contribute to your diabetes risk.
Although you can’t change those factors, you can control and prevent prediabetes from becoming type 2. The changes you make today could make the difference tomorrow. Keep reading to find out more.
Reduce Your Intake of Sugar and Carbs
When you eat sugary food and refined carbohydrates, you put yourself on the fast track to diabetes. Your body breaks down these foods faster, converting them into sugar molecules that enter the bloodstream.
Your blood sugar then rises, signaling the pancreas to produce insulin, a hormone designed to transfer sugar from your bloodstream into your cells.
For people who have developed prediabetes, the question, “How can you prevent diabetes?” becomes critical. With prediabetes, your cells have become resistant to insulin, causing your body to produce more.
Over time, the sugar in your blood builds up along with your insulin levels. Eventually, both boil over, turning into type 2 diabetes.
By avoiding foods high in refined carbs and sugar, you can reduce your overall blood sugar and your risk of developing diabetes.
How Can You Prevent Diabetes?
One of the best ways you can stop diabetes in its tracks is to exercise.
When you exercise, your cells become more sensitive to insulin. They need less of it to regulate your blood sugar levels. The more intense your exercise, the greater the effect.
The best exercises you can do are aerobics and interval training, both of which focus on increasing your heart rate. Frequency also plays a key role. A study found that to enjoy the full benefits of exercise, a person at risk for diabetes would need to burn more than 2,000 calories a week.
That’s a lot of gym time. To make the most of it, pick a workout you can have fun with. Maybe you could join a rec soccer league or start swimming at your local pool.
Increase Your Water Intake
If you have a high risk of diabetes, water is your best friend. Sugary beverages like punch and soda can increase your risk for type 2 diabetes.
Water, on the other hand, helps control your blood sugar levels and regulate your insulin response.
Not everyone who develops type 2 diabetes struggles with their weight, but obesity and diabetes often go hand in hand. The most common type of fat in prediabetic people is visceral fat, a fat that forms around your midsection and abdomen.
Visceral fat promotes insulin resistance, increasing your risk of developing diabetes. Losing even a little bit of weight can help to reduce that risk.
Smoking is bad. Let me say that again: smoking is bad!
It contributes to a host of health problems besides diabetes including:
- Heart Disease
- Breast Cancer
- Lung Cancer
- Prostate Cancer
- Cancer of the Digestive Tract
Even second-hand smoke has been linked to type 2 diabetes. Studies show if you quit smoking now, your risk level for developing diabetes will be the same as nonsmokers who have made healthier choices.
Follow a Low-Carb Diet
If you’re serious about answering the question, “How can you prevent diabetes?”, then you need to improve your diet. For people with prediabetes, you should follow a ketogenic (low-carb) diet.
This kind of diet has been proven to lower blood sugar levels as well as insulin levels. It also increases your cell’s sensitivity to insulin.
In short, when you minimize your intake of carbs, your blood sugar levels won’t rise as much, making your body’s job of maintaining your blood sugar level much easier.
Monitor Your Portion Size
Regardless of your diet choices, you still need to avoid large portions of food.
Eating too much at one time spikes your blood sugar and insulin levels. Eating a proper portion size is a great way to reduce your risk.
Avoid Sedentary Behavior
If you want to prevent diabetes, you have to have some level of physical activity. Sitting around will not work, but you don’t have to spend hours at the gym, either.
It can be as simple as standing up from your desk periodically, taking the stairs, or going for walks regularly. Change is hard, but if you can do it, you can reduce your risk of developing diabetes.
Get Plenty of Fiber
To maintain your weight and gut health, you need plenty of fiber. But how can you prevent diabetes with fiber?
Well, fiber is categorized in two ways – soluble or insoluble. If the fiber you consume is soluble, it will absorb water to form a gel, slowing down the rate food is absorbed and helping your blood sugar levels to rise slower.
Insoluble fiber is also linked to reductions in blood sugar levels, although the mechanisms are not yet understood.
Get Healthy Today
The best way to ensure you don’t develop diabetes is to live a healthy lifestyle every day. With a nutritious diet and daily exercise, you will find yourself feeling empowered like you never imagined.
A healthy lifestyle can reduce your stress and anxiety and help you to get more sleep. If you want to find out more about the steps you can take to feel better, then you should contact us today for a personal consultation.
How You Can Benefit From Lower Cholesterol Levels
High cholesterol can lead to many risk factors for your health. Here’s why it’s important to lower cholesterol levels and how you can get started doing it.
We’ve long been encouraged to lower cholesterol, with the market flooded with drinks and spreads with cholesterol-lowering ingredients.
But what are the benefits of having lower cholesterol levels? Is all cholesterol bad?
Starting Point – What is Cholesterol?
Cholesterol is a substance naturally produced by the body, that helps in the digestion of fat, and the production of hormones and vitamins.
There are two types – HDL and LDL.
HDL – this is sometimes called ‘good cholesterol’. It removes the more harmful LDL cholesterol from the walls of your arteries and sends it to the liver, to be excreted.
LDL – this is the type of cholesterol that causes problems. It can be deposited on artery walls, causing a hard build-up known as plaque. You can have serious problems such as stroke and heart attack, if arteries narrow or are blocked.
Join us as we explore how you can benefit from lower cholesterol levels.
Benefits of Lower Cholesterol
It’s certainly beneficial to work on lowering the LDL cholesterol levels in your body. Some of the benefits include:
Lower Risk of Heart Disease
The number 1 benefit of having lower cholesterol levels is that in turn, your risk of developing heart disease goes down.
Heart disease, also known as coronary heart disease, is an illness that affects the blood vessels of the heart. When these become blocked, the heart cannot receive the oxygen and nutrients it needs, leading to heart attacks and other problems.
Lowering LDL cholesterol levels helps to prevent deposits forming in the blood vessels, that could lead to them becoming dangerously narrow.
The heart keeps all parts of the body supplied with fresh, oxygenated blood – just what we need to feel vibrant and alive.
When the heart has to work harder than necessary to pump the blood due to narrowing of the blood vessels from excessive cholesterol levels, this has a knock-on effect.
Our heart is overtaxed, and consequently, we feel more tired and have less energy.
To stop this from happening, take steps to reduce your LDL cholesterol levels.
Reduced Risk of Stroke
Another awesome benefit of lowering your cholesterol is that you can reduce your risk of having a stroke.
One type of stroke, ischemic stroke, is similar to a heart attack, in that it occurs when the blood flow to the brain is cut off.
This can be due to narrowing of blood vessels with plaque, or from clots which form elsewhere in the body and travel to the brain.
If not caught quickly, the effects of stroke can be devastating, even fatal. Many stroke victims are left with permanent disabilities or paralysis as a result.
All of this is a powerful incentive to keep your cholesterol levels down, to try to prevent this from happening.
How to Reduce Your Cholesterol
Many physicians will recommend a variety of medications that can help you to reduce your cholesterol levels. However, all medications come with side-effects that we want to avoid.
Consider looking at your food choices and exercise first to see if they can help you to naturally lower your cholesterol levels without having to use medications.
One way to lower cholesterol is by reducing your consumption of saturated and trans fats. These are found in many processed foods and in fatty cuts of meat.
Adding fiber to your diet – easily found in oats, fruits, beans, and vegetables can also help. Eggplants and okra are two sources of the type of fiber you need, plus they have the advantage of being low-calorie foods too.
If you need something to snack on during the day, nuts are a great option. They naturally help reduce LDL cholesterol and also have other properties beneficial to heart health.
There are also foods on the market now, such as kinds of margarine, yogurts, and drinks that have plant stanols and sterols added to them. These additives reduced the body’s ability to absorb cholesterol from food.
Consider adding one of these to your diet as an easy way to bring your cholesterol down.
You can also lower cholesterol by making a few changes in what you drink.
Sugary sodas and juices have a negative effect on cholesterol levels, whereas drinking plenty of water will help you to naturally reduce them, in conjunction with a healthy diet.
The body also struggles to break down sugars in alcohol, leading in time to them being stored in the body, causing high cholesterol levels.
Switching to water is an easy fix, that can have a big impact on your cholesterol and your general wellbeing.
Along with taking care over what you eat and drink, exercise is another great way to keep the bad cholesterol at bay.
Increasing your exercise to 30 minutes of moderate exercise, 5 days a week is a great way to keep your cholesterol in balance.
Make sure it’s something you enjoy – that way, you’ll be much more likely to stick with it.
Whether you love tennis, ballroom dancing or just taking a long walk around a beautiful part of your neighborhood, it can become part of your day you actually look forward to.
Following the advice above on diet and exercise will have another beneficial side effect, that also helps lower cholesterol – losing weight!
Carrying extra weight is a cocktail for keeping bad cholesterol levels high, and good cholesterol levels low, so it’s always a good idea to try to shed a few of those extra pounds.
For inspiration, check out our 6 tips for living the healthy life.
The Takeaway – How to Benefit from Lower Cholesterol Levels
Now we know – there’s good and there’s bad cholesterol, and controlling them is largely in our hands.
With great food choices, lifestyle changes and more exercise, we can benefit from reduced risk of stroke and heart disease and feel much better into the bargain.
At The Healing Med, our focus is helping you improve your health through lifestyle, behavioral and diet changes. We take a personalized approach to healing, creating a plan that’s tailored to you.
Check out our great range of services today.
City Living: How to Keep Your Stress Levels Low
Living in bustling, major cities can sometimes induce stress and create health risks. That’s why it is so important to keep your stress levels low. Here’s how.
Every once in a while, people skip meals, load up on espresso and even open up a few energy drinks as a way to get more done. But the human body was not made to handle work increases and stress levels like that.
When you live in the big city, it can seem like life doesn’t slow down for anyone. The long hours at work, high expectations from employers, and roads packed with traffic can overwhelm even the most level-headed among us.
Life takes a toll. In fact, in a recent report by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, as many as forty percent of workers who were surveyed said their jobs were very or extremely stressful.
But there are steps you can take as an individual to lower your stress levels. Keep reading to find out what changes you can make today to lead you to a more relaxed tomorrow.
Get Enough Sleep
If you don’t get enough sleep, it affects your mood, level of mental alertness, energy levels, physical health, and stress levels. Sleep is essential to human functioning. It is the time that our brains have to recharge and our bodies have to rest.
If we don’t sleep enough, our bodies are not able to get the full benefit of deep sleep like muscle repair and memory consolidation. In fact, sleep is so critical to the human body that lack of it can lead to symptoms that range from obesity to compromised judgment.
Learn New Relaxation Techniques
The “fight or flight” response is a natural part of the human condition. It is the way our body alerts us to the presence of danger. But when you live in the city, your body’s response may be triggered by less deadly day-to-day problems like traffic jams, problems at work, and family issues.
At times when it feels like your heart is racing and your palms are sweaty, deep breathing can be very helpful. Deep breathing occurs when the air coming through your nose fills your lungs until the point where your lower belly rises.
For many people, deep breathing is an unnatural feeling. This is because we have been taught for so long to tighten our stomach muscles, causing us to expand our lungs only as far as our chest will allow. Deep breathing allows the lungs to fully inflate, providing a rush of oxygen that helps to lower or stabilize blood pressure.
Rely on Others
Anyone working toward a large goal will need to learn to delegate if they are going to manage their stress levels. Your time and resources are finite, so asking others to help you is the only way to increase your production level once you have maxed yourself out.
You may think that you don’t have time to ask someone to do something for you because you don’t have time to train them. It can be difficult to trust someone new with a task you’re used to doing yourself.
But the reality of the situation is, if you give people a chance to learn how to do the task and earn your trust, then you will have a reduced workload and, in turn, lower stress levels.
Manage Your Time
Being organized is key to maintaining healthy stress levels, and the most important part is managing your time properly. You need to look at your to-do list and break it down into individual tasks to maximize the use of your time.
You should also classify your tasks as urgent, important, or not important. That way, you will know what things need to be done now and what can wait a little while.
Once you have ranked the items on your to-do list, it will be easy for you to see where you can redirect your time to accomplish the goals that are most important to you.
The more stressful a task seems, the more likely you will be to put it off. But that will only hurt your stress levels.
Instead, you should create short-term deadlines to help you get in the habit of getting things done. That way, when a long-term deadline comes up, you won’t have a whole pipeline of work built up waiting to overwhelm you.
When you are overwhelmed with life and work, it can be difficult for you to find time to treat your body to healthy relaxation. But this is the time that it matters most.
You are no good to anyone if you burn out. You need to take time to stop and smell the roses. Otherwise, you will have no perspective. Taking a step back and some time off can be just what you need to take your achievements to the next level.
One great way to treat yourself is through exercising. It is a great way to reduce stress and keep your body in shape. Yoga is especially helpful for helping you relax, and it helps your body become more resilient and flexible over time.
Plan Worry Time
If you tend to spend a lot of your time worrying about things, it can be helpful for you to set aside some time to worry.
It may be impossible for you to stop worrying completely. But if you can schedule a block of time every day to worry, then it will be easier for you to control it.
If you find yourself starting to feel overwhelmed thinking of everything that could go wrong, simply remind yourself that it isn’t time for that yet. That way, you can maintain your focus during the day.
Achieving Lower Stress Levels
Reducing the stress you face on an everyday basis is the only way to achieve a feeling of fulfillment in your life. If you live in a big city, it can seem like everything around you never stops.
There is always going to be a new challenge, another mountain to climb. Learning to deal with stress as it comes is the only way to maintain a healthy life. If you are looking to improve your stress levels and overall health, contact us today.
6 Tips for Living the Healthy Life
A good diet, regular exercise, and heart monitoring are just a few tips for living the healthy life. The good news is there are people who can help you.
Everyone knows that life can be hard and stressful. Poor choices can impact the way you feel about yourself, and they can also impact your physical health.
If you’re looking forward to living the healthy life, you need to know how to take care of yourself in ways that nourish both your mind and body.
Let’s get into the best tips.
Eat a Healthy Diet
You know that saying, you are what you eat? It turns out, it has some serious truth when it comes to living the healthy life.
A rich and varied, nutritious diet helps your body stay fueled and function at its optimum abilities. Healthy food can combat obesity and prevent diseases like diabetes, cancers, and high blood pressure.
Components of a healthy diet include:
Protein: Known as the powerhouse of macronutrients, protein boosts a healthy immune system and helps with tissue and muscle repair. Determine how much protein your body needs, and make sure you are getting enough.
Good sources of protein include lean meats like chicken and turkey, beans, nuts, seafood, and eggs.
Vegetables: Hopefully your mother told you to eat your veggies, and it’s for a good reason. They’re vital for living the healthy life and warding off chronic diseases.
No single vegetable has all the nutrients you need to be healthy, so eat a variety every day. From delicious salads to homemade soups, the options are endless.
Good Fats: Fat is essential for helping you absorb vitamins and feel energized. Not all fats, however, are created equal, so be sure to look for fats in sources like oily fish, nuts, avocados, and olive oil.
Water: In a world laden with sugary drinks, sodas, and fancy coffees, water is still the clear winner! Living the healthy life means staying hydrated. Get yourself a reusable water bottle and sip it regularly throughout the day.
Move Your Body
Exercise is as good for the body as it is for the mind, and research continues to reveal all the benefits working out can provide.
Not a fan of working out in a sterile gym? You don’t have to! Exercise can be anything from dancing to your favorite music to sweating out in a hot yoga class.
Living the healthy life means moving your body. Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic exercise per week.
Remember, the best exercise is the one that you can consistently do. Whether it’s jogging or weightlifting, Pilates or tennis, try to have fun with it! The more you can look forward to the activity, the more likely you are to want to schedule and commit to it.
Just like we take care of our physical selves, we also need to nurture our minds and souls. Self-care allows us to do just that.
Self-care refers to any activity that is deliberately done to take care of your health. It’s the key to improved moods and reduced depression and anxiety.
Consider the following self-care coping skills:
- Journaling regularly
- Spending time volunteering
- Taking a hot bath
- Going for long walks
- Watching a funny show
- Reading a good book
Remember, taking care of yourself isn’t optional! It should be a part of your active process of living the healthy life.
Cultivate Positive Relationships
Studies show that we are who we surround ourselves with, so it’s important to take a good inventory of your peer group.
Living the healthy life means having healthy and fulfilling relationships with the people who matter the most. This applies to everyone from our neighbors to our coworkers to our childhood friends.
If you’re feeling dragged down by the people you’re associated with, consider making some changes!
Remember, healthy people inspire and motivate you to be a better person. Negative, draining people tend just to make you feel dejected and irritable.
Meditate and Relax
Chances are, you have a lot on your to-do list on a regular basis. And, chances are, you never feel like your work is done.
You’re not alone. Most of us feel overwhelmed with all the tasks and obstacles life throws at us.
With that said, living the healthy life means knowing how to pause, slow down, and relax. High levels of stress are associated with everything from increased anxiety and depression to elevated blood pressure and risk for obesity.
Get in the habit of meditating and relaxing on a regular basis. Master the art of taking deep breaths and allowing yourself regular time-outs. It’s not selfish – it’s part of self-love.
And, when in doubt: Get a massage. No, it’s not frivolous, and yes, it can be the ticket to good health!
Get a Hobby
If you feel like you’re in a boring or dreary rut, you may need a new passion or hobby in your life.
Living the healthy life is more than just eating plenty of salads and working out regularly. It’s about having a zest and passion for waking up every day!
Remember when you were a child and the world was your playground? Remember how fun it was just to get around and explore everywhere? Do what you can to get back some of that magic.
If you’ve always wanted to learn to play an instrument, stop making excuses. Interested in a new language? It’s time to take a class! Want to try your hand at rock climbing or swing dancing? There’s no time like today.
You never know what new activities or places might bring you joy. Stay open to the process. A big world is out there!
Final Thoughts On Living the Healthy Life
At The Healing Med, we are passionate about providing effective, holistic care for our all our patients’ health needs.
From weight management to medical condition monitoring, we offer extensive services for everyone. Let’s get you on your way toward living the healthy life!