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10 Eating Habits That May Help to Prevent Diabetes Slideshow

10 Eating Habits That May Help to Prevent Diabetes Slideshow

Small changes in your diet that can make a big difference

Watch How Much You Put on Your Plate

When you are hungry, it is easy to get carried away and pile food onto your plate. Unfortunately, plate sizes are getting bigger and bigger these days, which means if you fill up your plate you may be loading up on too many calories. Trick yourself by filling up a dessert-size plate instead of a dinner plate for your main meal.

Go for Complex Carbs

Complex carbohydrates have been shown to steady your blood sugar, as they take longer to digest than simple carbohydrates like white bread and potatoes. Try swapping in sweet potato fries for your regular french fries for an easy way to incorporate more complex carbs into your diet. Other good choices include whole grains and beans.

Load Up on Fiber

Fiber can help reduce your risk of diabetes by improving blood sugar control. A diet rich in fiber also helps with weight loss and overall health. Reap these benefits by enjoying plenty of fruits, vegetables, beans, and whole grains.

Swap Out Juice for the Real Thing

Tseng recommends, "Have a piece of fruit instead of juice." Though juice is made from fruit, most of the fiber is left behind in the juicing process. While the vitamins and minerals remain, juice is mostly just simple sugar. Swap out your morning glass of orange juice for the real thing to help get the most out of the fruit.

Limit Soda Consumption

Soda is nothing but empty calories and it is easy to rack up your day's worth of calories by sipping on it throughout the day. Save your calories for nutrient-rich foods. Tseng suggests, "Try having seltzer with a splash of lime if you are craving a fizzy drink." If you have to have a soda fix, try to stick with diet or limit the real stuff to special occasions.

Choose Healthy Fats

Use olive oil or canola oil for cooking instead of butter or margarine and avoid trans fats. Also try to incorporate foods that contain healthy fats into your daily diet like avocado, nuts, and fish. These healthy fats can improve your overall health.

Put Down the Salt Shaker

Though high salt intake is most often linked to heart problems, limiting your salt intake can help prevent diabetes as well. Eating a low-salt diet is a smart move for overall health. Try to limit how much salt you add to foods while cooking and stop the habit of adding salt to your foods at the dinner table. Watch your consumption of processed and canned foods, and if you do buy them, opt for the low-sodium varieties.

Limit Red Meat and Avoid Processed Meats

Red meat is loaded with saturated fats, while processed meats like deli ham and bologna contain a lot of added sodium and chemicals. Better options are lean meats like chicken, turkey, and fish.

Choose Non-Fat Dairy

Consuming dairy is an important part of a good diet because it's loaded with both protein and calcium, but full-fat dairy like whole milk, cheese, and ice cream is loaded with fat and calories. Enjoy the benefits of dairy and leave the unhealthy fats and extra calories aside by choosing skim or 1-percent milk, low-fat or fat-free cheese, yogurt, and ice cream.

Make Cookies, Cakes, and Candies a Treat Not a Habit

It is easy to indulge in sweets, but try to keep indulging to a minimum. Snacking regularly on refined sugars and high-fat treats like doughnuts, cookies, cakes, and chocolate can pack on excess calories and therefore extra pounds. Don't deny yourself these items, save them for an occasional treat instead.

Eating for Better Vision and Healthy Eyes

For generations, mothers have advised their children to eat their carrots for the sake of their eyes. Indeed, carrots do contain compounds that are vital to vision. But today’s moms and others wanting to eat for eye health should know that eating for better vision is not just about carrots anymore.

Researchers have been homing in on evidence that certain dietary habits may help stave off two common degenerative eye diseases: age-related macular degeneration (AMD), the most common cause of legal blindness and vision impairment in older Americans, and cataract, a condition affecting more than 24 million Americans. What you eat can also help to control blood glucose levels, which is important to reducing the risk of developing diabetic retinopathy, a common eye complication of diabetes.

An in-depth look at nutritional strategies for healthy eyes follows, but first it’s helpful to understand a little more about these common eye diseases.

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Small, frequent meals

Meals are often a trigger for GERD symptoms. In fact, all-you-can-eat buffets are almost always a recipe for heartburn.

A very full stomach can cause the valve between your stomach and esophagus (known as the lower esophageal sphincter, or LES) to relax, pushing stomach acids back up into the esophagus.

Eat several small meals throughout the day rather than the standard breakfast, lunch, and dinner. (Don&rsquot make that last meal too late, though: Eating close to bedtime can trigger GERD symptoms as well.)

5 Healthy Habits That Prevent Chronic Disease

From social media influencers to great aunt Bess, everyone has an opinions about the best habits for a healthy lifestyle. But whether you’ve gone all-in on apple cider vinegar or think the latest health fads are all hype, the choices you make can have long-term health consequences.

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“Healthy lifestyle habits can slow or even reverse the damage from high cholesterol or high blood sugar,” says lifestyle medicine specialist Mladen Golubic, MD, PhD. “You can reverse diabetes, obesity, hypertension, high cholesterol and heart disease.”

Here, he sifts through the noise to help you choose the best lifestyle habits to prevent chronic diseases.

How lifestyle affects your health

The leading causes of death worldwide are chronic diseases, Dr. Golubic says. And they include the usual suspects:

  • Cancer.
  • Cardiovascular disease.
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
  • Diabetes.
  • Stroke.

But you can prevent many of these chronic conditions by addressing their root cause: daily habits. About 80% of chronic diseases are driven by lifestyle factors such as diet and exercise, he says.

How to prevent lifestyle diseases

To prevent chronic disease, Dr. Golubic recommends adjusting your habits in these five areas:

1. Diet

His advice is straightforward: Eat plants that are whole, unrefined and minimally processed. Eating plant-based foods helps reduce diabetes, heart disease and cancer risk.

There is evidence that the Mediterranean diet can reduce the risk of developing cardiovascular disease and other chronic diseases. This diet is rich in vegetables, fruits, legumes, whole grains fish, olive oil and nuts.

Other evidence suggests that consuming a fully plant-based diet can even reverse chronic, diet-related conditions, including advanced heart disease. This diet eliminates meat, dairy and eggs and includes whole foods such as vegetables, whole grains, legumes and fruits. It is the most compassionate and the most sustainable diet, Dr. Golubic says, and the one he recommends most.

“I suggest you experiment. You don’t have to go fully vegan tomorrow,” he says.

“Avoid refined and processed plant foods. Start by preparing one new plant-based meal a week.”

2. Physical activity

Moving helps all your body’s systems. Experts recommend 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity each week.

If that seems daunting, Dr. Golubic recommends starting small. “Most of us can walk. So start with a 10-minute walk. Repeat this two or three times a day,” he says. “Then try to walk faster, have a minute of more intense walking or climb a flight of stairs. If walking is not an option, any physical activity will do. Simply move more and sit less.”

3. Sleep

Shoot for seven to nine hours of restful sleep each night. But if you just can’t help burning the midnight oil, try to:

  • Have a consistent bedtime and wake time, even on the weekends.
  • Be physically active daily. (Sense a theme?)
  • Limit alcohol and caffeine. 90 minutes before bedtime.
  • Keep your sleep area cool, dark and comfortable.

4. Stress relief

Chronic stress is not your immune system’s friend. Try mindfulness, meditation and gratitude to relieve stress and improve your physical and mental health.

“We tend to self-medicate with food, but there are healthier ways to relieve our stress, worries and concerns,” Dr. Golubic says.

Mindfulness: Mindfulness is the state of being more present and aware of what you sense, feel and experience. It’s a great way to cope with stress and relax.

Dr. Golubic suggests two ways to master mindfulness:

  • Practice daily: The key is to schedule it. Find a quiet place. Observe your body movements as you breathe — how your belly expands and shrinks, or how the air flows in and out of your nostrils. “The key is to observe — don’t try to change the depth of inhalation or frequency of breathing. Let your body do what it normally does more than 20,000 times per day,” he says. Start with five minutes per day and work up to 20 minutes.
  • Pay attention to the present moment throughout the day: For example, when brushing your teeth, brush like it’s your first time. “Using your nondominant hand may help you pay better attention,” Dr. Golubic says. “You can even practice mindfulness while taking out the garbage, washing the dishes or noticing your breath while you wait for the light to turn green. Any activity where you remember to pay attention can be a mindfulness practice.”

Meditation: If you’re new to the practice, 4ࡪ breathing, or box breathing, is a great place to start. Here’s how it works:

  1. Sit up straight and relaxed in a comfortable, quiet location.
  2. Breathe out slowly, being mindful about releasing all the air from your lungs.
  3. Breathe in through your nose as you slowly count to four in your head. Be conscious of how the air fills your lungs and stomach.
  4. Hold your breath for a count of four (or less, for a count you can comfortably hold).
  5. Exhale for another count of four.
  6. Hold your breath again for a count of four.
  7. Repeat.

Do this for five minutes three times a week, building up to 20 minutes a day.

Gratitude: Practicing gratitude is a good antidote for stress as well. In studies, burned-out healthcare workers who performed acts of gratitude — such as remembering three good things or writing gratitude letters — reported positive effects on their well-being after a few weeks.

“Throughout our days we tend to notice more things that are not going well and pay little attention to positive moments,” Dr. Golubic says. “We are likely to feel better when, in the midst of a hectic day, we recognize and remind ourselves about all the gifts we have in life.”

5. Social connectedness

Social connectedness, or loving people, keeps you emotionally and physically healthy. Even when physical distancing is the norm, virtual connections can be transformative.

“We have tremendous access to technology to help us avoid social isolation,” Dr. Golubic says. “Almost everybody has a cell phone, so you can be in touch with people and tell them how you feel about them. Even work emails signed, ‘I hope you’re OK,’ or, ‘stay well,’ make a difference.”

Why is it so hard to make healthy lifestyle changes?

There are a few reasons it can be hard to get a handle on our habits, including:

  • A lack of access to healthy options: A drive down the street reveals the convenient truth: cheap, unhealthy fast-food options everywhere you look. This can make it hard to make good choices. “Spain has fruterías (stores that sell only fruits and vegetables) on every other corner. They’re open until late in the evening. Imagine if those stores were more common than fried food places,” Dr. Golubic says.
  • Too many subliminal messages: “Subliminal messages can sabotage good lifestyle habits,” he says. “For example, think about advertisements showing beautiful people eating unhealthy foods. Or the images of yoga poses featuring young people instead of those who need yoga the most — older people with two to four chronic conditions.”
  • An instant gratification culture: It can take weeks to months to make something a habit — and sometimes longer to see the benefits of those changes. “When implementing healthy lifestyle changes, we have to be patient,” Dr. Golubic concludes.

How to maintain healthy lifestyle habits long-term

To make healthy habits stick, Dr. Golubic suggests you:

  • Take small steps: “Do evolution rather than revolution,” he says. “Choose achievable goals. Start with listening to a meditation tracks for five minutes three times a week and continue adding more days and minutes as you are making progress.”
  • Set realistic expectations: Avoid being too critical of yourself. Embrace the saying, “progress not perfection.”
  • Educate yourself: Learn the science behind opinions. Seek advice from professional medical associations, such as the American Heart Association, American Cancer Society, Medical Society of Clinical Oncology and American College of Lifestyle Medicine.
  • Think big picture: Those who reflect on what’s important to them and how they fit into a larger whole have better results. “Food choices are spectacular examples,” Dr. Golubic says. “It takes an enormous amount of energy and production of greenhouse gases and land and water use to produce a pound of beef compared to a pound of beans. So our food choices not only affect our health but the well-being of all life on the planet.”

Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. Advertising on our site helps support our mission. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services. Policy

How to Prevent Diabetes

Adopting healthy habits may be your ticket to preventing diabetes. Try the tips listed below to lower your risk:

1. Regular Physical Activity

A sedentary lifestyle where you get little or no physical activity can increase your risk of diabetes. On the other hand, regular exercise can help increase your insulin sensitivity. Choose a moderate to high-intensity activity you enjoy and one you can stick with long term.

2. Eat Less Sugar and Refined Carbs

You already know that refined carbs and sugar cause weight gain. But here’s another reason to cut them out of your diet: Eating too much of these types of foods can put you on a fast track to diabetes.

When you replace these foods with ones that don’t spike your blood sugar, you can reduce your risk of developing diabetes.

3. Maintain a Healthy Weight

Does being overweight or obese automatically put you on the road to diabetes? Not necessarily. But many people who develop type 2 diabetes are obese.

Additionally, pre-diabetics tend to carry a lot of fat around their mid-section and abdominal organs. This excess visceral fat can promote insulin resistance and inflammation. Both conditions increase the risk of diabetes significantly.

4. Quit Smoking

Smoking contributes to a variety of serious health conditions. But did you know that there’s also a link between smoking and type 2 diabetes? This is just another reason to quit this deadly habit.

5. Watch Your Portion Sizes

What does the size of your plate have to do with diabetes? As it turns out, a lot. Eating large meals in one sitting can send your blood sugar levels skyrocketing, especially if you’re obese.

You can fix this and decrease your risk by simply practicing portion control. One study found that pre-diabetic men lowered their risk of diabetes by up to 46% when they reduced portion sizes and made other healthy nutrition choices.

Healthy Food Staples

Quinoa. This whole grain is so versatile! You can eat quinoa for breakfast, lunch, or dinner – as a main dish or side. Quinoa is incredibly nutritious – it’s loaded with fiber, protein, iron, and various antioxidants. Best of all, quinoa is sure to keep you feeling full and satisfied. Check out some recipes here.

Sweet Potatoes. This healthy food staple is popular for a reason – t hey are as delicious as they are nutritious! Sweet potatoes come naturally loaded with vitamin C, B vitamins, potassium, and beta-carotene. They are also known to help reduce stress and relieve inflammation. Check out some recipes here.

Plain Greek Yogurt. You can use Greek yogurt in so many different ways! Top with fresh fruit for a nutritious breakfast or use it as a substitute for healthier recipes – like dips, dressings, and desserts. Greek yogurt is a great source of both protein and probiotics. Check out some recipes here.

100% Whole Grain Pasta. Can anyone live without pasta? Whole grain pasta is rich in nutrients and makes an easy, filling meal. The complex carbs found in whole grain pasta serve as a great source of energy and promote muscle health. Whole grain foods have also been shown to reduce the risks of heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. Check out some recipes here.

Lean Meats. Whether it’s chicken, beef, or turkey, lean meats are an excellent source of protein. When prepared healthily (no frying!) and paired with other nutrient-rich foods like fresh veggies, lean meats contribute to a great dinner that is low in fat and calories. Check out some recipes here.

Eggs. Containing an incredible array of nutrients, eggs have earned their right to be considered one of the world’s healthiest foods. Eating eggs regularly will raise your HDL (good cholesterol) levels, which can reduce your risk of various diseases. Remember that almost all of the nutrients are contained in the yolk – so no need to limit yourself to egg whites. Check out some recipes here.

Avocado. Rich in healthy fats, fiber, and potassium, the avocado is a heart-healthy food that can be used to create many different dishes. Avocado lovers can enjoy many benefits such as lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Check out some recipes here.

Coconut Oil. Coconut oil is a great choice for cooking. Rich in natural saturated fats, coconut oil can help raise good cholesterol while lowering bad cholesterol. Cooking with coconut oil regularly can also help reduce your risk of heart disease. Check out some recipes here.

Brown Rice. High in fiber, brown rice promotes weight loss and helps prevent against a wide range of diseases. It’s a great base for a healthy, nutritious meal. Better yet, brown rice is relatively inexpensive and incredibly simple to make. Check out some recipes here.

Beans. Loaded with fiber and iron, beans are great for digestion and can help lower cholesterol. Beans have been shown to help regulate blood sugar, and they also provide your body with a great source of B vitamins. Check out some recipes here.

Spinach. Known as a superfood, eating this leafy green regularly will provide a multitude of nutritional benefits. Spinach is low in calories and provides substantial amounts of vitamins and minerals. It’s even great for your skin, as it increases the production of collagen. Check out some recipes here.

Salmon. This delicious fish definitely deserves a permanent spot in your fridge. A diet rich in salmon will give your body the Omega-3 fatty acids that it needs to promote optimum heart health. It is also one of the few available dietary sources of vitamin D. Check out some recipes here.

Almonds. Almonds are great for snacking or for topping yogurt and salads! Almonds promote heart health with their healthy fat content. They are also loaded with magnesium, which has been shown to help prevent heart attacks and high blood pressure. Check out some recipes here.

Fruit and Veggies. Whether frozen or fresh, always keep your kitchen stocked with your favorite fruit and veggies. The health benefits of eating fruits and veggies are too good to pass up. Both provide you with an energy boost and reduce your risk for heart disease, obesity, and diabetes. Check out some recipes here.

Try keeping your kitchen stocked with these foods for optimum nutritional health. Many of these foods are versatile and can be prepared in different ways to keep you from getting bored and reaching for junk food instead.

What healthy foods do you always keep on hand? Feel free to share in the comment section below!

#5: Consume Foods That Deliver Ellagic Acid

Ellagic acid might well be your best weapon in the battle against colorectal cancers, including colon cancer. Scientific evidence indicates that ellagic acid can activate detoxifying enzymes in the liver, resulting in the clearing of cancer-causing substances in the serum. Ellagic acid also appears to be capable of preventing carcinogenic substances from attaching to cellular DNA. Furthermore, ellagic acid has been shown to stimulate the immune system, to trigger apoptosis (i.e. self-destruction of cancerous cells), and to attack potentially colon cancer causing free radicals. Ellagitannin, which the body converts into ellagic acid, is abundant in many red fruits and berries, raspberries being a particularly good dietary source of this extraordinary colon cancer fighting compound.

10 Eating Habits That May Help to Prevent Diabetes Slideshow - Recipes

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Reducing the risk of having a heart attack is a priority for those at a high risk, such as those with diabetes.

A recent study shows that a mere 20 minutes of walking, each day for one year, can dramatically reduce the risk for pre-diabetics.

Recent research conducted on participants with a pre-diabetic condition known as Impaired Glucose Tolerance, or IGT, showed that about 20 minutes per day of walking, every day for a year, can reduce the chances of developing heart disease by at least 8%.

Participants were selected from various countries around the world, and those in different demographic and geographic regions.

Impaired Glucose Tolerance is known to affect nearly 350 million people in the world, and is expected to increase to nearly half a million people in the next 15 years, due to aging, poor diets and unhealthy lifestyle habits.

With this increase will come a significant increase in the prevalence of diabetes and heart disease, since "People with IGT have a greatly increased risk of cardiovascular disease," according to a lead researcher, Thomas Yates of Britain's University of Leicester.

Although this is a serious problem, there are steps you can take, literally, to help prevent developing full-blown diabetes and other health problems.

There have been many studies that correlate physical activity to health benefits, but this is a groundbreaking study that has shown the exact amount of walking that can reduce the chances of developing heart disease or other serious cardiovascular diseases and the number of deaths related to these conditions.

Over 9000 adults from 40 different countries around the world participated in the study. Each of the participants was known to have IGT, along with a diagnosis of heart disease or one factor placing them at significant risk.

Lifestyle changes were used to help the participants reduce their intake of dietary fats and promote weight loss, as well as the introduction of 150 minutes per week of walking. Pedometers were used to monitor the walking behaviours over the course of the year-long study.

Results were analyzed based on many factors, including BMI, whether or not the participant smoked, prescription medications used, and other things to balance the data. Results indicated that the chances of developing heart disease could be reduced approximately 10% for every additional 2,000 steps recorded by the pedometer.

Yates explains, "These findings provide the strongest evidence yet for the importance of physical activity in high risk populations and will inform diabetes and cardiovascular disease prevention programmes worldwide.&rdquo

These results further confirm previous studies that showed how much of an impact simple but regular physical activity can have on reducing the risk of many major chronic health conditions.

Further research should be geared toward helping to educate people on how to make healthy lifestyle choices to live longer, healthier lives.

Final Thoughts

The above article tells you that you can get diabetes from being underweight. The studies show that about 12.5 percent of people get diabetes who are underweight, but people who are overweight have more chances of diabetes as compared to the underweight people. Diabetes caused when our pancreas stops secreting insulin for our body.

Can you get diabetes from being underweight? No, it does not subsequently depend on your low weight. It depends on the diet you are taking. Too much less eating habits may cause diabetes, or if a person is eating unhealthy food like a portion of food that has high sugar levels can cause diabetes.

Bethany Martin

Bethany Martin is an endocrinologist in Ohio and is into this medical practice for over 6 to 10 years. Bethany is working in various locations and is specialized in Endocrinology and Diabetes. Dr Bethany Martin treats various conditions such as Diabetes Mellitus, Hyperthyroidism, Hypothyroidism, Nutrition Therapy, Benign Thyroid Diseases, Nutrition Therapy, with specialities in Endocrinology, Diabetes, Diabetes & Metabolism. Read her full bio Here