If you have been diagnosed with diabetes or have prediabetes, you aren’t alone. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that more than 29 million adults in the United States had diabetes in 2016. Another 86 million adults have prediabetes, the precursor to type 2 diabetes.
Diabetes exacts tremendous costs on personal health and the healthcare system. It was the seventh-leading cause of death in the U.S. in 2016 (76,488 deaths), and it’s one of the primary causes of kidney failure and adult-onset blindness. As much as 20 percent of all healthcare spending is for treatment of diabetes.
Diabetes does not have to be part of your life. It’s possible to reduce your risk of developing diabetes by as much as 58 percent by changing your lifestyle, starting with nutrition.
Just as poor diet is the major cause of diabetes, a healthy diet is key to successful treatment and prevention of diabetes. For people with type 2 diabetes and prediabetes, two factors can help you reduce the impacts of the disease and reduce risk of having prediabetes develop into type 2 diabetes:
The first is much easier to tackle than the second, but both are equally important. Much of the battle in diabetes management is controlling blood glucose levels. Physical exertion affects blood glucose levels the same insulin. Exercise can lower blood glucose levels. When you work out, your muscles use blood glucose for fuel. The more you exercise, the more glucose your body uses up, which helps stabilize blood glucose levels. Exercise also has added benefits of reducing stress, improving circulation, lowering blood pressure and cholesterol, and managing weight.
Diet, however, is perhaps the most important factor in controlling and preventing diabetes. The following dietary modifications can greatly help with diabetes prevention and management:
1. Complex carbohydrates. Carbs are necessary part of the diet, but they should be complex carbohydrates such as from milk or grains rather than sugar. Complex carbohydrates take longer for our bodies to digest and therefore don’t cause rapid spikes in blood sugar levels like sugar does.
2. Fiber. Fiber aids in digestion and controls blood sugar levels. It also reduces the chance of developing heart disease or high blood pressure. Get fiber from food.
3. Healthy fats. Healthy fats such as omega-3s and omega-6s make it less likely we will develop heart disease. Avoid saturated and trans fats.
4. Salt. Limit salt intake. It has been linked to high blood pressure, which is common in people with diabetes.
The kinds of foods you eat, when you eat them, and how much you eat all affect blood glucose levels. Some of the best food choices, the American Diabetes Association reports, are plant-based proteins and foods rich in omega 3s and omega 6s.
Our foods are an important tool for people concerned about controlling and preventing diabetes. One serving of our nutrient-rich Everything Shakes, Brain Shakes and healthy breakfast foods contains:
Peak Health cereals also contain soy protein, an excellent plant-based source of protein that provides all 12 of the essential amino acids your body needs daily. Essential amino acids are the building blocks your body uses to create the proteins needed to make hormones and enzymes, as well as new cells for muscle, blood cells, brain tissue and many other crucial body functions. Soy protein and all animal proteins, such as those from milk, are equal in quality.
Peak Health’s foods deliver the right amounts of essential nutrients your body needs daily to help prevent or manage diabetes. Our nutrient-rich foods feed your cells and allow them to repair damage and heal, a process that starts soon after consuming our nutritious foods.
Our foods have everything our amazing bodies need and nothing they don’t. They can help reduce the chance of developing diabetes and help people who already have it live healthy lives.