The moment when people are diagnosed with higher blood sugar levels, their first thought is to cut back sugar intake. And people, planning to stay away from diabetes, have the same opinion. But, can staying away from sugar alone decrease your risk of diabetes?
Decreasing the sugar intake can reduce the risk of diabetes to some extent, but it is not the only option that can protect you from becoming a diabetic. There are several other lifestyle choices and factors which increase the risk of diabetes. Here are some top common habits which increase your blood sugar levels and hence the risk of diabetes.
- Too many refined carbs: People who include too much of refined carbohydrates such as white bread, white rice, and foods made out of maida are at higher risk of diabetes. The refined carbohydrates stimulate our body to produce more insulin and the produced insulin gets absorbed easily that makes us feel hungry after consuming them. Though consumption of refined carbs every day seems harmless, it is linked to obesity and increases the risk of diabetes.
- A low-probiotic diet: Probiotics are nothing but the good bacteria present in our digestive tract, which are essential for proper digestion. They ensure to make our digestive system work properly as it should. An unhealthy diet or too much junk food decreases the number of good bacteria in our gut that leads to inflammation and eventually increases insulin resistance. Hence, people whose diet has less or no amount of probiotics are at a higher risk of diabetes. So, make sure to include probiotic foods in your diet. Yogurt is the best and easily available source of probiotics. If you are lactose intolerant, get probiotic supplements on doctor’s advice.
- Skipping breakfast: Breakfast is the most important day of the meal. One should never skip their breakfast to stay healthy and most importantly to prevent diabetes. When the breakfast is skipped, the insulin levels get disrupted making it harder for our body to control the blood sugar. So, take time to have a simple and balanced, healthy meal in the morning which helps control blood sugar levels and aids in weight loss as well.
- Sipping sugary drinks: If you have a habit of drinking lot of sugary drinks such as energy drinks, sweet tea, fruit ades, regular soda; you are at a risk of diabetes. Sugary drinks add a lot of calories to our diet with no nutritional value. If you have a craving for fruit juices or drinks, it is better to have low-fat milk or fresh fruit juice in a limited quantity. Drinking sugary drinks on a regular basis to quench your thirst can raise the blood sugar levels and lead to diabetes.
- Being a night owl: If you are staying up late at nights and not getting enough sleep, you might be putting yourself at risk of diabetes. When people are awake till late hours, they tend to be exposed to higher levels of artificial light from TVs, phones and laptops. This lowers the insulin sensitivity and affects the regulation of blood sugar levels. When people get fewer than six hours of sleep, the hormones that control blood sugar and hunger gets disrupted and leads to weight gain. Poor sleep quality and sleep loss affect the metabolism, heart health and blood sugar regulation that can lead to diabetes.
- Using plastic containers in microwave: People who use plastic containers for reheating the food have increased risk of developing diabetes. When plastic wrap or plastic containers are used to store the leftovers and used for microwave, the chemicals in the plastic can leach into the food. These chemicals increase insulin resistance and elevate blood pressure that increases the risk of diabetes.
- Lack of sun exposure: Getting enough sun exposure is equally important to protect yourself from harmful sun rays. When people are deficit of vitamin D, regardless of their weight; the functioning of pancreas gets affected. As the pancreas is responsible for the production of insulin and helps regulate blood sugar, a person who lacks vitamin D is at higher risk to develop diabetes. Getting enough sun exposure for vitamin D and including the foods rich in this vitamin such as salmon, vitamin D-fortified milk or cereal can reduce the risk of diabetes.
- You’re on your way to a long, healthy life and are taking a major step in controlling your weight and blood sugar levels.Lazy weekends: Most of the people spend their weekends watching TV and having lots of outside food that are high in calories and low in nutrients. A habit of sitting for a long time watching TV can increase the risk of developing diabetes. Too much sitting can lead to storage of visceral fat that especially gets stored around the abdomen and increases the waist circumference. The increase in belly fat lowers the body’s insulin sensitivity and significantly raises the risk of developing diabetes. So, it is always advisable to use your weekends to rejuvenate your body with enough physical activity and healthy diet.