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5 Ways to Lower Your Risk of Diabetes

Cucumber And Black Bean Salsa Salad

Do you think you are at risk for Diabetes?  The answer is yes. Everyone is at risk.  The question to ask is: how can I lower my risk of Diabetes?

What is Diabetes?

Diabetes is a disease where the body does not have enough insulin or has a decreased ability to use insulin or both.  Insulin is necessary for the body to convert the food you eat into energy for your body to use.

There are two types of Diabetes, Type 1 is usually found in children and is an autoimmune diease that is not preventable and must be treated with insulin.

Type 2 diabetes accounts for 90-95% of diabetes in the world and is related to age, obesity, and physical inactivity.  There are genetic factors that increase risk, but Type 2 diabetes can be prevented through healthy food choices, physical activity and weight loss.

How to Lower Your Risk?

Follow these 5 easy steps and you will be on the right path to lower your risk.

1.       Eat more whole grains and fiber

Whole grains and fiber improve blood sugar levels.  So choose whole wheat and brown rice and eat more fruits and vegetables.  Even better, make sure to pair your healthy carbohydrates with a healthy protein, so eat your apple with a few walnuts.

2.       Exercise

If you are not a gym rat, find the activity that is right for you.  Find a friend to take a half hour walk with every evening. Go bike riding, swimming, sign up for karate, find a basketball game to join.  The more active you are the lower your risk level.  Get a pedometer and try to walk one extra step every day.

3.       Lose Weight

Don’t go crazy yo-yo dieting.  Find a healthy diet that works for you to maintain your normal weight and at least stop the gain. Skip desserts, soft drinks and fast food.

4.       Don’t Smoke

Those who smoke more than 20 cigarettes a day almost double their risk of developing diabetes.  Just one more reason to stop.

5.       Watch Those Alcoholic Drinks

Stick to one or two alcoholic beverages per day, maximum.  Too much alcohol can decrease functionality of the pancreas, which can increase risk of diabetes.

Recipes that are rich in whole grains and fiber:

Kicked Up Kasha Varnishkes with Porcini Gravy

Ribolita Soup (use whole wheat bread for more whole grains)

Green Tea, Basil and Strawberry Smothie

Lentil and Bulgur Pilaf

Cucumber and Black Beans Salsa Salad