Are you at
Brooke Kobetz, RDN, LDN According to the Louisiana Department of Health, in 2017, 12% of Louisianans had diabetes putting our state within the top 10 highest rates of diabetes in the entire US. With the numbers continuing to rise nationally each year, the prevalence of diabetes has reached epidemic proportions. There are two different types of diabetes. Uncontrolled, both may result in kidney disease, eye disease, nerve damage, and amputations. Type 1 diabetes only accounts for 5-10% of the population. It is an autoimmune disease that results in absolute insulin deficiency which means it cannot be prevented through lifestyle or diet changes. Insulin is a hormone made in the beta cells of the pancreas that helps blood sugar move into cells to use for energy. Without insulin the blood sugar cannot move into the cells and dangerous levels build up in your blood. People with type 1 diabetes need to take insulin to regulate their blood sugar. Type 2 diabetes (T2DM) is the most prevalent, accounting for 90-95% of reported cases. T2DM is a chronic disease that results from insulin resistance. This means the body has difficulty making insulin or using the insulin it creates. It is caused by a combination of genetic and lifestyle factors. While you can’t change your genetics, you can control your lifestyle. Focusing on preventative measures like diet and exercise, can greatly reduce your chances of developing T2DM. The following is an overview of risk factors for type 2 diabetes and strategies to reduce your risk!
Risk Factors for Type 2 diabetes ▷▷ ▷▷ ▷▷ ▷▷ ▷▷
A diagnosis of prediabetes, a family history of diabetes, history of gestational diabetes, or a diagnosis of polycystic ovarian syndrome. Overweight or obese Anyone >45 years of age Physically inactive less than 3 x per week Having high blood pressure, high LDL or low HDL cholesterol, and high levels of triglycerides (fats)
Are you at risk? Take charge now! The following may help to prevent or delay the onset of Type 2 diabetes
Preventative Measures and Lifestyle changes ▷▷
If you are overweight or obese losing weight can reduce your risk.
Add at least 150 minutes a week or 30 minutes, 5 days a week of exercise.
This can be easily accomplished by adding a morning walk or bike ride into your day. Don’t have time? Consider breaking it down into 10-minute increments throughout the day.
Get an adequate amount of sleep and learn ways to effectively manage stress that don’t involve overeating.
Work with a Registered Dietitian who can help you create and manage healthy eating habits for lifelong health.
Join support groups online that motivate you to accomplish and stick with weight loss or healthy eating goals.
Add more nutrient dense plants to your diet. A recent study published by PLOS medicine that followed 200,000 people for over 20 years found that “having a diet that emphasized plant foods and was low in animal foods was associated with a reduction of about 20% in the risk of diabetes”.
Buy and cook with fresh food. There are limitless resources online with recipes and instructions using fresh ingredients. This means less processed foods, and refined carbohydrates in your diet.
Don’t fall victim to this disease. If you are at risk, taking these steps today may help to prevent the onset of T2DM!
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