Being young and carefree is probably one of the best times of a person’s life. You can eat as much as you want without paying attention to portions or exercising regularly. Long hours of playing video games and binge-watching TV shows will also feel like a minute. It is all fun and games until you pay a visit to the doctor for a blood sugar test.
If you are lucky, the results are negative and you are in the clear (for now, at least) though it cannot always be the case for everyone and the blood test results may say otherwise. With that said, getting type 2 diabetes can be life-altering to many people. However, there is no need to worry, especially if you are still young and full of life.
This short guide offers you a variety of ways to avoid type 2 diabetes at a young age. It is not a comprehensive one, though, but it is still a guide nonetheless.
As the saying goes, “prevention is better than the cure.”
Follow a Healthy Diet
Eating for sustenance is a lot easier said than done. We all love to eat, and doing it lifts our spirits more than anything else. If unhealthy food is involved, that’s a different story. Consider changing your eating habits if these are comprised of sweets, fast food, and junk food.
On one hand, processed sugar is one of the leading causes of type 2 diabetes, so avoiding candy, ice cream, and all the sugary treats should be one of your top priorities. On the other hand, fast foods are low in vitamins and high in carbohydrates. Your sugar levels may rise if you don’t burn all the calories right away through regular exercise.
Instead, go for healthier options like fish, vegetables, and soy products. If you prepare or cook them a certain way, they may taste just as great as chicken, pork, or beef.
If dieting already helps you avoid the dreaded D-word, then exercising regularly more than guarantees it. Sure, being young means having a metabolism that processes food at a breakneck pace, but why not take advantage of your vigor and youthful energy? You have your whole life ahead of you, and type 2 diabetes should not get in your way.
Go for a 30-minute run or a 1-hour walk at the very least. You may even consider doing yoga or going for a swim every once in a while. Doing any of these physical activities increases the insulin level of your cells, which also keeps your blood sugar in complete control.
Workout regularly, and your insulin will do all the work for you! Get up, and get going.
Avoid (or Limit) Vices
Vices are inevitable, no matter how old you are, what you do, or who you’re it. In fact, social smoking and drinking are common occurrences among teenagers and young adults.
One way to avoid type 2 diabetes is by limiting, if not, completely quitting on all these temptations for good. Smoking harms your body by causing inflammation, which in turn, decreases the effectiveness of insulin. The same idea also applies to consuming alcohol on a regular basis. A dip in insulin levels leads to a rise in blood sugar levels.
Needless to say, anything in excess is bad, but prevention is always a good thing.
One’s mental health matters, especially in this day and age. Although there is no proof or evidence that stress directly causes type 2 diabetes, an article suggests that longer periods of it may increase your risk of getting it later on.
Stress can also affect how your body uses insulin. Cortisol, known as the stress hormone, produces glucose and increases your blood sugar levels. The good news, however, is there are many ways you can reduce your cortisol levels. These include but are not limited to exercising, meditating, seeking social support, or getting a good night’s sleep.
If any of these methods aren’t working for you, seek professional help at once.
Get Enough Sleep
This can never be overstated. Your insulin levels would be at an all-time low if you’re not logging in all the hours for sleep. This results in high blood sugar levels, putting you more at risk of getting type 2 diabetes. The same idea also applies to irregular sleeping patterns.
Sleep deprivation increases the body’s levels of ghrelin, the hunger hormone, so midnight snacks are not far and few between. Fortunately, you can overcome these sleep issues by having a healthy lifestyle. This goes back to exercising regularly, maintaining a healthy diet, and all the other methods mentioned earlier.
Don’t overlook sleep; it’s an essential part of life.
Preventing type 2 diabetes all boils down to practicing moderation and making smart choices. Oftentimes, you may take these for granted but taking small steps can go a long way. The best time to practice all these methods is now. The present is just as important as your future. For now, enjoy your youth but never forget to be responsible for yourself either.