Changing your lifestyle can prevent type 2 diabetes, which is the most common type and preventative measures are extremely important if you already have type 2 diabetes due to being overweight or obese. high cholesterol or a family history of the disease. Heart disease is a serious condition that affects a person’s overall health and leads to serious complications that put a person at risk of heart attack or cardiac arrest.
Health experts insist that a person with diabetes has a twice high risk of getting heart disease and is more prone to heart problems. However, type 2 diabetes, which is the most common type, can be prevented by making lifestyle changes.
In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Dr. JN Jha, cardiologist and associate professor at NIIMS, suggested some preventative actions that are crucial if you already have type 2 diabetes due to obesity, high cholesterol, or family history of the disease:
1. Reduce your weight – The risk of diabetes is reduced with weight loss. After dropping almost 7% of their body weight through improvements in diet and exercise, participants in a large trial saw their risk of diabetes drop by almost 60%. Set a weight loss goal based on your current body weight. To lose one to two pounds each week, for example, discuss acceptable short-term goals and expectations with your doctor.
2. Increase physical activity – Regular exercise has a variety of benefits. The benefits of exercise include:
a) lose weight
b) Reduce your sugar level.
c) Your ability to respond more easily to insulin will help keep your blood sugar within the usual range.
Most people set the following goals to promote weight loss and maintain a healthy weight:
a) Exercise At least 30 minutes of brisk walking, swimming, biking or running should be included in the minimum 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous aerobic activity that should be done each week.
b) Resistance training, which you should do at least two to three times a week, helps you develop your strength, balance, and ability to live an active life. Resistance training encompasses activities such as weightlifting, yoga, and calisthenics.
c) There is hardly any inactivity. Blood sugar levels can be managed by interrupting long periods of inactivity, such as working in front of a computer. Every 30 minutes, get up, move around, or do some light exercise for a few minutes.
3. Eat healthy plant foods – Your foods get their vitamins, minerals and carbohydrates from plants. Carbohydrates include substances like fiber, sugars and starches. These serve as sources of energy for your body. Dietary fiber, which refers to the part of plant foods that your body cannot digest or absorb, is also called coarse or bulk fiber.
Fiber-rich foods promote weight loss and reduce the prevalence of diabetes. eat a variety of healthy, fiber-rich foods, such as:
a) Tree fruits, such as berries, tomatoes and peppers
b) Leafy greens, broccoli and cauliflower are examples of non-starchy vegetables. Beans, chickpeas and lentils are examples of legumes.
c) Quinoa, whole grain rice, whole grain oats, whole wheat pasta and bread are examples of whole grains.
Some of the benefits of fiber include:
a) lower blood sugar and delay carbohydrate absorption
b) prevent the absorption of cholesterol and dietary fats
c) controlling blood pressure and inflammation, two additional risk factors that affect heart health
d) helping you consume fewer calories because fiber-rich foods are more satisfying and energizing
Avoid foods that are “bad carbs” – high in sugar and low in fiber or nutrients – such as white breads and pastries, pasta made with white flour, fruit juices and processed foods.
4. Consume healthy fats – In moderation, fatty meals should be eaten as they are high in calories. You should eat a range of foods containing unsaturated fats, also known as “good fats”, to help you lose weight and manage it.
Unsaturated fats, especially monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, maintain healthy blood cholesterol levels, as well as heart and vascular health. Here are some sources of healthy fats:
a) Oils based on cottonseed, safflower, sunflower, olive and sunflower oils
b) Almonds, peanuts, flax seeds and pumpkin seeds are just a few of the nut and seed options.
c) High fat fish including cod, sardines, mackerel and salmon
Dairy products and meats contain saturated fats, also called “bad fats”. You should eat a minimal amount of it. By consuming low-fat dairy products, lean chicken, and pork, you can reduce your saturated fat intake.
5. Avoid fad diets and opt for healthier options – Many fad diets, including glycemic index, paleo, and ketogenic diets, can help with weight loss. The long-term benefits of these diets or their value in preventing diabetes, however, are rarely studied. Your diet should have the dual purpose of helping you lose weight and keep it off in the future. Therefore, making healthy food choices requires a plan that you can follow and stick to for the rest of your life. Over time, it could benefit you to make healthy decisions that incorporate some of your own food and cultural tastes. A simple technique to encourage better meal choices and the best consumption possible is to divide your plate into smaller portions. The three areas of your plate that support healthy eating are:
a) Fruits and non-starchy vegetables make up half.
b) Whole grains make up a quarter.
c) 25% protein-rich foods such as lean meats, fish and legumes
According to Dr. BL Jain, Cardiologist at Jain Heart Hospital, “It is mandatory for every person to be aware of their diabetes issues so that they can easily manage their blood sugar, blood pressure and cholesterol. An appropriate lifestyle change will help reduce the risk associated with diabetes. So, do not forget to exercise and proper nutrition should become a regular partner of a healthy lifestyle.
He recommended the following tips to ward off diabetes for the sake of your heart –
1. Focus on healthy eating: Being diabetic, one needs to be aware of the foods that should be eaten and avoided. Eat a diabetes-friendly diet to keep your heart healthy.
2. Increase physical activities: Go for a walk every day, do some yoga or exercise, and hit the gym because a fitness routine helps regulate sugar levels.
3. Follow the Diabetes Reversal Plan: There is no single strategy for keeping diabetes under control. A diabetes reversal plan should be followed, keeping your other health issues in mind.
4. Manage your weight: A person with diabetes must manage their weight to keep their heart healthy.
5. Keep an eye out for problems: Diabetes also affects the eyes and can lead to blindness if not treated in time. A regular eye check should be carried out at regular intervals by a specialist/expert is highly recommended.
6. Urine examination: A urine examination should be done at regular intervals to check for various problems like urinary tract infections, kidney disease and others.
7. Keep an eye on your feet: Finally, the examination of the feet should be carried out at regular intervals so that there is no risk of infections, non-healing ulcers, etc.