Prevention and control is key – losing weight, making dietary changes and exercising are just a few of the easy things you can do to make it easier to cope with diabetes in a survival situation.
Here are nine things you can do, starting today.
Get to a normal weight. Obesity is the major cause of type 2 diabetes. You have several times the chance of becoming diabetic if you don’t get to a healthy weight for your height and age. The risk is even higher if you are morbidly obese. You don’t have to lose it all at once; even if you just lose 5% of your current weight, you can drop your risk by half.
Change your diet. Several adjustments in what you eat can decrease your chances of developing type 2 diabetes:
• Avoid processed foods. In the Nurse’s Health Study, diets rich in whole grains were found to protect against diabetes; processed foods (white bread, white rice, donuts, etc.) caused an increased risk. Scientists looked at the whole grain consumption of over 160,000 women. they found that women who had 2 or 3 servings of whole grains daily had a 30% less chance of type 2 diabetes that those who ate processed foods. Drinks like sodas were particularly bad, causing spikes in blood levels of sugar (glucose). Drink water or unsweetened coffee and tea instead (in moderation).
• Carefully manage the fats in your diet. Polyunsaturated fats found in liquid vegetable oils, nuts, and seeds can help prevent type 2 diabetes. Trans fats, found in many baked goods and fried fast foods, have the opposite effect.
• Pick protein sources that improve your ability to avoid type 2 diabetes. There is evidence that red meat (beef and pork) increases your risk, especially if processed (hot dogs, bacon, deli meats).
In the Nurse’s Study, eating 3 ounces of red meat increased the chance of developing type 2 diabetes by 20 per cent. If the red meat was in a processed form, the risk increased by 50 per cent.
Get active. Getting your muscles moving improves their ability to use insulin and absorb sugar.
This causes less pressure on insulin-producing cells in the pancreas. You don’t have to run a daily marathon to get this effect. Just a brisk 30 minute walk daily will decrease your chances of developing type 2 diabetes by 30 per cent.
Quit smoking. Surprise! Not really, I’m sure you know that smoking does bad things to just about every organ that is affected by diabetes. Smokers have a 50 per cent higher risk of getting type 2 diabetes, not to mention heart disease, etc., etc.
Drink Alcohol in moderation. Surprise again, this time for real! Moderate amounts of alcohol (up to a drink a day) increases insulin’s efficiency at the cellular level. If you don’t drink at present, though, don’t start: You get more benefit by eating well, exercising, and maintaining a normal weight.
Although the above recommendations are standard ways to prevent type 2 diabetes, some natural substances may have a specific beneficial effect. Consider reducing your diabetic risk with:
Cinnamon. Research suggest that regular intake of cinnamon may help reduce levels of blood glucose and cholesterol.
Tea. Drinking several cups of tea (or perhaps a lesser amount of coffee) may help prevent some type 2 diabetes. Green tea was considered superior to black tea for this purpose.
Vitamin D and Calcium. A 2006 study found that daily intake of 800 IU of vitamin D and 1200 mg. of Calcium decreased the incidence of type 2 diabetes by 33 per cent.
Barley. A study published this year suggests that barley may reduce oxidative stress and inflammation, thereby decreasing the risk of type 2 diabetes.
If you are dependent on insulin, your prospects in a survival situation are obviously much more problematic; in that case, you must map out contingencies to get the medicine you need.
For the rest of people struggling with Diabetes, prevention and avoidance are the keys.
To learn more tips on how to treat and live with Diabetes in a survival situation, please visit the Activist Post.