Diabetes is killing too many of us: Here’s a way to avoid it


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that by 2050, one in three American adults could have diabetes. 1 in 3!  Is it heredity? Evidence shows that your family history plays only a fractional role.  More so, the root cause is diet and EXERCISE!! So, let’s look at some means of prevention….


First it’s SOoooo important to watch out for type-2 Diabetes onset symptoms (such as sudden weight loss (or gain), persistent fatigue, thirst, blurred vision and frequent urination).  Have your blood glucose tested at least every three years (starting from age 45 or younger if you’re at an increased risk for diabetes).


A ~ Alpha-lipoic Acid – This powerful antioxidant is involved in your body’s metabolic process of converting carbohydrates into energy. It’s been reported to improve blood sugar levels and there have been no reported side effects over the last 30 years in European clinical trials.


B ~ Blood Pressure – It is vital that you keep it and your cholesterol levels in check.


C ~ Cinnamon – A study conducted in 2009 showed that regular consumption of cinnamon reduce risk factors associated with diabetes and cardiovascular disease. The study, involved 22 people with impaired fasting blood glucose, and examined the effects of 12 weeks of daily treatment with a cinnamon supplement.

Previous research also suggested that regular intake of cinnamon helps reduce levels of fasting blood glucose, triglycerides, LDL (so-called “bad”) cholesterol, and total cholesterol.


D ~ Vitamin D3 supplements.  After reviewing data on 83,770 women, the authors of a 2006 study determined that a combined daily intake of over 800 IU of Vitamin D3 and over 1,200 mg of calcium was associated with a 33% lower risk of type-2 Diabetes (compared with a combined daily intake of less than 400 IU Vitamin D3 and less than 600 mg calcium). There is a vital role that the skin sunlight absorption plays in your body’s ability to metabolize Vitamin D3.  More recent evidence has proven that people with darker skin pigments need more Vitamin D3 supplementation, which is necessary to prevent heart disease and stroke.  For this reason levels for African Americans are suggested at 8 – 10,000 IU’s of Vitamin D3 daily. Always talk to your doctor before starting any supplements.  You can have your Vitamin D levels check through this resource.  Vitamin D3 in-home Testing


E ~ Exercise provides two main benefits for prevention of Diabetes. First, it causes your skeletal muscle to be more sensitive to insulin (the chemical signal that tells cells to absorb glucose). Because of this, exercise speeds the clearance of glucose out of the blood and into skeletal muscle cells, which require glucose in higher quantities during increased activity.

Ever heard of AMP kinase?  Well, it actually initiates glucose transport from blood to your cells without the use of insulin. This is especially important and helpful in light of the prevalence of insulin resistance in those people at risk for diabetes. Exercise is found to naturally increase your levels of AMP kinase.


F ~ FOOD! ~ following a healthy diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains and healthy fats. Your focus should be on Functional Foods. Never heard of those?  While there’s not a clinical definition, they’re generally considered by doctors and nutritionists as those foods which offer additional benefits that may reduce your risk of disease or promote optimal health.

Functional ingredients, such as cinnamon, Bitter Melon, garlic, stevia, onion, ginseng, Gymnema sylvestre and Fenugreek, have been addressed for their specific actions towards different reactions involved in diabetes development.


Here are 4 Important Functional Foods:

1.     Cold-Water Fish ~ Cod, Black Cod, Mackerel, Haddock, Sardines and Salmon
Omega-3 fatty acids are found in high amounts in these protein-packed fish. Studies prove that they lower overall risk of heart disease, reduce joint pain and improve brain development and function. General guidelines are that you eat about eight ounces of these varieties of fish a week. Reduce or eliminate Shell Fish & Large Predatory Fish & River Fish, which contain mercury and other contaminants in unacceptable amounts, including Swordfish, Tuna, Sea Bass, Carp, Perch, Trout, Tilefish & Shark.

2.     Nuts ~ Great for snacks, because they’ll help you feel full but, don’t spike your blood sugar levels. Raw nuts, especially Pistachios and walnuts but, also including pecans, cashews and almonds. Raw nuts eaten in moderation are high in magnesium, which can lower blood pressure and help lower cholesterol too!

3.     Whole Grains ~ Barley, Quinoa, Kasha (buckwheat groats), Wild Rice, Bulgur, Whole-Wheat Couscous, Oats. They’re all high in soluble fiber; help lower cholesterol; and assist with your blood sugar control. So add barley to your soup at lunch, have quinoa as a side at dinner.

4.     Beans ~ another terrific source of soluble fiber. High fiber diets can help reduce your risk of colon, rectal and breast cancers. While canned beans are fine, find those low in sodium.

       Tip: You can actually rinse beans before use, which can remove approximately 40% of added sodium content.


Spread Your Meals Out & Include Snacks
       Avoid fasting or skipping meals even on days when your schedule is tight, or weekends. It’ll give your body enough time to regulate blood sugar levels and keep them even. You want to help your body regulate your sugar levels by having smaller meals and including snacks ~ a little something every 4 -5 hours.  Be sure to include a protein in whatever food you have.  This simple addition slows down that sugar spike because protein burns more evenly.  Raw pistachios make a great snack for this reason.


Eat Breakfast.
You’ve heard time & time again that breakfast is the day’s most important meal.  It’s true! This is especially true for those who have Diabetes. Consider that from the time you ate your last meal of the day your body has been fasting 8-12 hours. Your body needs food to balance blood sugar levels and injected insulin from the previous night. Sure, you can run out of the house running on fumes BUT~ this is setting-up your body for serious sugar spike when you do eat and forcing it into less than optimal conditions for metabolism.

Another benefit is that eating breakfast can help overweight people with type-2 Diabetes shed extra pounds. From out of 4,000 participants In the National Weight Control Registry who kept-off at least a 30-pound weight loss for about 5.5 years, almost all reported that they ate breakfast daily.

So what’s for breakfast? ~ One with carbohydrate, protein and fiber. Save high-fat and sugary foods, such as grains and dairy for special occasions. And think outside the typical breakfast box: Leftover chicken breast with green beans and black rice is just fine too.

What if you’re not usually hungry for breakfast? You’re not alone ~ So, here’s an easy fix…Simply, make your previous night’s meal smaller.  In this way you’ll wake up hungry. It will spread your carbohydrates more evenly throughout the day, leading to better blood-sugar control.


G ~ Get more Sleep.

       C’mon you’ve known that you need more sleep ~ now here’s some incentive! Poor or inadequate sleep affects body chemistry and blood sugar control.

A study by the University at Buffalo, NY proved that people who get fewer than 6 hours a night consistently are 4.5 times more likely to get abnormal blood sugar readings than those who slept longer.  It’s widely known that adults typically need 7-9 hours a night. Lack of sleep is also linked with other health conditions, including heart disease, stroke and cancer.

Did you know that more than a third of people with type-2 Diabetes have obstructive sleep apnea? OSA as it’s called is a condition where a collapsed airway causes a person to repeatedly stop breathing during sleep, according to James Herdegen, M.D., Director for Sleep and Ventilatory Disorders at the University of Illinois in Chicago.

“Studies have demonstrated that type-2 Diabetics who also suffer from OSA can dramatically reduce their glucose levels by getting treatment,” he says.

OSA can be managed and treated with a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP), a mask worn during sleep that sends air through the airway to keep it from collapsing.

You ~ Yes, YOU can prevent and even reverse type-2 Diabetes, but you have to start taking care of yourself TODAY!!

Best Health,

~Jeanne Ricks, CHC

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