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The numbers are shocking. At the rate our country is going, more than half of us will be diabetic or pre-diabetic by the year 2020. But the good news is that help may be as close as your kitchen. "Food is an extremely effective tool for preventing and managing diabetes," says Barbara Allan, R.D., a Vancouver-based certified diabetes educator and co-author of The Diabetes Prevention & Management Cookbook.
Type 2 Diabetes 101
Your pancreas churns out a hormone called insulin, which helps cells turn glucose (the digested and broken-down carbs you eat) into energy. But excess weight, inactivity and a host of other factors can cause insulin resistance, where cells are unable to properly respond to the hormone. The result: Your pancreas pumps out more and more insulin. Eventually, as the insulin producing cells fail to keep pace and glucose builds up in the bloodstream, this leads to type 2 diabetes. Improving your insulin sensitivity's a good thing. It means blood sugar levels are decreasing and insulin resistance is being reversed.
Get Moving: Exercise Tips to Prevent Diabetes
Tip 1: Walk This Way
A brisk 15-minute walk after each meal helps control blood sugar and might reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes, says a new study.
Tip 2: Down, Diabetes
Use your break time to do a quick yoga pose. The mind-body practice may help type 2 diabetics manage their blood sugar.
Tip 3: Lift to Lower
"A single session of resistance exercise like lifting weights improves insulin sensitivity for 24 hours," says Cleveland Clinic endocrinologist Betul Hatipoglu, M.D. "It's the single best thing you can do."
Tip 4: Get Up!
People who sit for more than six hours per day are significantly more likely to report having diabetes. Set an hourly alarm on your phone, reminding you to stroll around the office.
From high-fiber beans for supporting weight control to sugar-purging buckwheat, we've created the ultimate shopping list with delicious recipe suggestions to boot!