Unhealthy behaviors that heighten your susceptibility to diabetes
Excess alcohol intake
Liver is the detoxifying and sugar-stabilising organ of the body. Excess alcohol can damage the liver which can cause sugar imbalance in the body. Also, alcohol is basically empty calorie without any nutritional benefit. This promotes obesity and diabetes.
Some lifestyle measures that can be taken to control diabetes are:
Weight loss. Losing 5% to 10% of your body weight can help lower HBA1c and improve insulin resistance
Healthy diet: Having a diet rich in complex carbohydrates, healthy fats and proteins, fresh fruits and vegetables
Physical activity: Approximately 30 minutes of brisk cardio exercise daily
Drinking alcohol in moderation and quitting smoking completely
Living a high-stress lifestyle without effective stress management strategies can have an impact on blood sugar levels and increase the risk of developing diabetes.
It is crucial to recognize that adopting positive changes in lifestyle habits can substantially decrease the likelihood of developing diabetes. Individuals with a family history of diabetes should consider scheduling regular medical check-ups starting from the age of 45 years to monitor their health status.
Smoking whether in the form of cigarettes, bidi, hookah or vaping is extremely detrimental to a person’s health because the smoke contains a lot of hazardous chemicals and carcinogens which affect each and every organ of the body and can increase the chances of diabetes. It can also lead to insulin resistance and impair production and utilisation of insulin in the body.
Eating refined carbs
Food items such as maida and refined sugar are the biggest culprits in promoting obesity and diabetes. Since refined sugar and maida are already digested forms of carbohydrates, they get rapidly absorbed into our blood stream and cause a sugar spike, which promotes erratic release of high amounts of insulin. In comparison if we eat complex carbs, they are digested slowly and the sugar levels in our blood rise slowly and the insulin secretion is more physiological.
Sitting too much and not moving your body
Prolonged sitting and a sedentary lifestyle are prevalent among many individuals, especially those in the working population with irregular schedules. This lack of physical activity, combined with unhealthy eating habits, inadequate sleep, and elevated stress levels, can lead to an increase in stress hormones such as cortisol and vasopressin. These factors contribute to the development of diabetes.
Incorporating regular physical exercise, such as walking, running, yoga, or aerobics, for at least five days a week can be immensely beneficial. Engaging in simple exercises helps burn calories and enhances insulin sensitivity, thus mitigating the risk of diabetes.
If you are not eating mindfully and going overboard on food items prepared with white flour, junk foods, refined carbs, carbonated drinks, sugar-rich processed foods, this can significantly increase risk of diabetes. This practice can lead to obesity which is one of the strongest risk factors for diabetes. This can lead to excess body fat especially around the abdomen which increases insulin resistance and raises blood sugar levels, says Dr Vineeta Taneja, Director – Internal Medicine, Fortis Hospital, Shalimar Bagh.