Type 1 Diabetes, traditionally known as Juvenile diabetes, for its early detection, is a disease in which the body is unable to produce insulin and is currently not preventable. In general, this type of diabetes is comparatively rare, making up only about 5% of the total recorded cases of diabetes in the United States.
Through the use of insulin injections, careful diets and healthy living, many Type-1 diabetics can live with few day-to-day limitations – however, the risks are ever present and need to be closely monitored. Beyond the blood-sugar issues, Type-1 diabetics can be at risk for other health factors including high-blood pressure and even depression.
Type-2 diabetes, on the other hand makes up approximately 95% of all diagnosed individuals, with an estimated 100 million diabetics and pre-diabetics currently in America- And the two factors that contribute to Type-2 diabetes can be found in our genes and in our lifestyles. In fact, although a person may be hereditarily predisposed to diabetes it is possible to delay or prevent the onset altogether, with proper diet and exercise.
The biggest contributing factor to developing Type-2 diabetes is obesity. The more fat cells that your body has to contend with, the less effective your insulin levels become at monitoring the amounts of sugar that are being absorbed into you cells – and the best way to stave off diabetes is through proper nutrition and exercise.
A diet aimed at low levels of sugar intake can help relieve some of the strain placed on the insulin excreted by your pancreas, allowing it to be more effective in facilitation the absorption of sugar into the body’s cells. A high fiber, low carbohydrate diet, will also help provide the body with adequate time to handle the sugar levels in the blood. If you’re at risk of diabetes, you should regularly consult the GI (Glycemic Index) and avoid foods that cause dramatic spikes in sugar/insulin, for example; White Bread, Watermelon and Pretzels, which all rank over 70 point on the 1-100 scale (100, being pure glucose).
Fruit Juices, smoothies and flavored water should be consumed with discretion as well, all of these are high in sugar content and additives that put an added strain on our insulin effectiveness.
For those in the high-risk category, however, diet may not be enough. It is important to maintain a regular exercise routine, with a focus on cardiovascular and aerobic exercises. Recent, studies have shown that a healthy, fit body can reduce your chances of developing Type-2 diabetes by as much at 50%.
For more information, or if you think that you may be at risk for diabetes, please consult your doctor and develop a plan to help you live a long and healthy life.