I recently came across a YouTube video that made me question if I was really as healthy as I should be. The video followed three young adults attempting to lower their blood sugar, in order to get back to a safe non-diabetic level.
One of the adults is a late 20’s Asian male, who tested in the pre-diabetic zone. This person’s story resonated with me because I am also an Asian male (though a few years older) and my latest guilty pleasure are sugary drinks (i.e. milk teas, espresso beverages, etc.). While this Asian male appears healthy, inside his body tells another story. Through his dietary choices, his sugar test revealed to be pre-diabetic which put him at high risk for Type 2 diabetes. Obviously, the main goal for this person was to lower blood sugar to a manageable range.
Why is Diabetes bad?
When a person has diabetes, they are at much higher risk for various health issues. Heart disease, stroke, & high blood pressure are among the issues that can arise.
According to the Journal of American Medical Association, over 33% of adults in the USA are classified as obese. There are many factors that cause diabetes, like genetics, race, & gender. Yet, being overweight or obese is the main indicator of Type 2 diabetes. As more consumers of developed countries are eating processed foods more, the likelihood of being overweight increases.
3 Tips for Diabetes Prevention
- Maintain a Healthy Diet: I am not preaching to eat only leafy greens and nothing else! But…the majority of foods we consume must be nutritionally dense, which means keeping processed foods to a minimum and maximizing the fresh foods. Be creative with the vegetables and grains! These are not boring foods & there are a wealth of recipes all over the Internet.
- Exercise & Be Active: Drop the smartphone/laptop/tablet and move those legs! Being active for at least 30 minutes everyday will make a world of difference to your health. It does not have to be strenuous like an intense cross-fit session or running a marathon – it can be as simple as talking a walk around the block, playing with your friends and family, or riding a bike to get *healthy* groceries.
- Regular Doctor Visits: As I become older, I am grasping the importance of seeing the doctor more regularly. Your doctor can order routine tests like cholesterol or blood sugar (glucose) annually, just to check in whether health is where it should be. Earlier this year, my tests results indicated I was in normal range for Cholesterol & Glucose. However, the new year is just around the corner, so I will have the next round of test in a few months!
- If seeing a doctor may be inconvenient, there are several at-home tests that can be performed. Specifically, for Blood Sugar testing, there are several DIY test to choose from. Easy, accurate, & convenient…if you get a concerning result, it may be time to see a doctor.
The key is maintaining a healthy lifestyle – eating choices & lifestyle are the biggest factors in your overall health. Moderation is key with the indulgent choices! Minimize the sugar, fat, and processed food —> seek out fresh food alternatives. Here’s to a healthy & long life!