In Pursuit of Good Health (Part 3): Three Lifestyle Changes to Prevent Type 2 DiabetesAdults who gain weight after the age of 50, especially around the waist, significantly increase their risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Here are some findings from a recent study:
Weight gain and diabetes risk:
- Those who were overweight by 20 pounds or more were at 3 times the risk of getting type 2 diabetes.
- Those who weighed the most at the end of the study were 2 to 6 times as likely to develop diabetes as those who weighed the least.
- Those whose waists grew by more than 10 centimetres (four inches) had a 70% higher risk of developing diabetes.
Based on the results of this study and what we already know, it’s so important to maintain an optimal weight in middle age to prevent diabetes.
Once you have diabetes, you increase your risk of other chronic disease like heart disease and stroke, vision problems and nervous system problems. Being a healthy weight becomes even more important for adults 65 years and older.
Three steps to prevent type 2 diabetes:
1. Do resistance training (strength exercises) three times a week to:
- Build or maintain your lean muscle and rev up your calorie-burning potential, making it much easier to prevent weight gain.
- Lower your risk especially if you learn to use free weights. This is the most effective exercise for increasing lean muscle. You need to lift more weight than your body is used to lifting. Free weights will do that for you.
2. Change your eating habits gradually by:
- Avoiding fad or crash diets.
- Eat a diet heavy on vegetables, whole grains and good fats. We especially like coconut oil as a source of good fat.
- Reduce or eliminate the obvious sources of sugar in your diet like desserts, soda pop, alcohol, fruit and juices.
- Find hidden sources of sugar by reading ingredient lists. Anything in the list that contains words ending in “ose” are all bad sources of sugar.
- Low fat food products like “lite” salad dressing can be loaded with sugar to provide taste when the fat is eliminated. Replace low fat or lite products with real food like salad dressing made with extra virgin olive oil. Just control the quantity.
3. Manage the negative effects of stress on your life:
Constant stress from whatever source throws your hormones out of balance leading to weight gain and fluctuations in insulin control.
COMING UP: Next week’s blog will continue with Part 3 of 5: In Pursuit of Good Health – Heart Disease and Stroke and how you can lower your risk to lead you to a healthy, active life.