Take Control! Diabetes Prevention Tips
With an estimated 24 million Americans diagnosed with diabetes, we often get calls from people needing insurance to cover treatments associated with the disease. While our Health Essential* plan will issue coverage to those with the illness, unfortunately, most insurance companies are not able to take on the risks and costs associated with diabetes and the lion’s share simply do not cover it. The good news is that for most of us, Type 2 diabetes (the most common form) is preventable.
This month, we’re taking this opportunity to share 5 tips from the world-renowned Mayo Clinic to help you take control of your health (and your ability to qualify for insurance!):
Tip 1: Get more physical activity
There are many benefits to regular physical activity. Exercise can help you:
- Lose weight
- Lower your blood sugar
- Boosts your sensitivity to insulin — which helps keep your blood sugar within a normal range
Research shows that both aerobic exercise and resistance training can help control diabetes, but the greatest benefit comes from a fitness program that includes both.
Tip 2: Get plenty of fiber
It’s rough, it’s tough — and it may help you:
- Reduce your risk of diabetes by improving your blood sugar control
- Lower your risk of heart disease
- Promote weight loss by helping you feel full
Foods high in fiber include fruits, vegetables, beans, whole grains, nuts and seeds.
Tip 3: Go for whole grains
Although it’s not clear why, whole grains may reduce your risk of diabetes and help maintain blood sugar levels. Try to make at least half your grains whole grains. Many foods made from whole grains come ready to eat, including various breads, pasta products and many cereals. Look for the word “whole” on the package and among the first few items in the ingredient
Tip 4: Lose extra weight
If you’re overweight, diabetes prevention may hinge on weight loss. Every pound you lose can improve your health. And you may be surprised by how much. In one study, overweight adults reduced their diabetes risk by 16 percent for every kilogram (2.2 pounds) of weight lost. Also, those who lost a modest amount of weight — at least 5 to 10 percent of initial body weight — and exercised regularly reduced the risk of developing diabetes by almost 60 percent over three years.
Tip 5: Skip fad diets and make healthier choices
Low-carb diets, the glycemic index diet or other fad diets may help you lose weight at first, but their effectiveness at preventing diabetes isn’t known nor are their long-term effects. And by excluding or strictly limiting a particular food group, you may be giving up essential nutrients. Instead, think variety and portion control as part of an overall healthy-eating plan.
What about you? Do you have any tips to share? If you’ve been on the verge of developing Type 2 Diabetes, but made lifestyle changes that kept you from developing the disease, how did you accomplish your goal? Share your tips with us!
*For information and a free quote for our guaranteed issue plan, Health Essential, please contact a client advisor or call us at (800) 647-4589.