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Diabetes- Small changes can have big results

Diabetes can be avoided or managed with the right choices

According to the American Diabetes Association approximately 25.8 million children and adults have diabetes, an estimated 8.3% of the population. This does not include the estimated 79 million individuals who may be considered pre-diabetic.

The good news is that despite the rise of diabetes there is hope for many individuals. With the right healthy lifestyle changes many individuals should be able to prevent or control their diabetes. Experts also suggest that controlling diabetes does not mean that you will have to completely alter your diet and eliminate all sweets or deprive yourself of your favorite foods.

Diabetes contributes to a variety of diseases

Unfortunately, a diagnosis for diabetes can be very serious. Diabetes can significantly increase your risk of heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, blindness, kidney disease, neuropathy, and amputation.

The cost to treat diabetes is also overwhelming. It is estimated the total cost of diabetes is currently $175 billion, with direct costs close to $116 billion. The American Diabetes Association estimates that patients with diabetes may have medical costs which are 2.3 times higher than what expenditures would be in the absence of diabetes.

Making small changes can make a big difference

Sometimes individuals get discouraged when they consider everything that may need to be done to improve their health, but the truth is that small changes can make a difference. Losing weight is generally one of the most important things that you need to do to improve your health but even small decreases in your weight can help. Consider, just losing 5% to 10% of your total weight may lower your blood sugar, cholesterol and blood pressure.

Medical experts also warn that fat that is surrounding your mid-section can be more dangerous than weight on your thighs and hips. Experts suggest that this type of fat, which surrounds your liver and abdominal organs, is “closely linked to insulin resistance and diabetes and can be a better predictor of diabetes risk than measuring your body mass index.”

Good ways to trim your belly fat

You may not have to eliminate all junk food to reduce belly fat but reducing soda, energy and sports drinks, coffee drinks, and processed foods like doughnuts, muffins, cereal, candy and granola bars can offer a fast decrease in the size of your waistline and decrease your risk of diabetes.

What types of foods can you eat? Focus on high-fiber complex carbohydrates such as brown rice, whole wheat pasta, sweet potatoes, steel cut oats, high fiber cereals, and cauliflower. Dietary experts also suggest eating foods which have a low glycemic number including beans, vegetables, chicken, fish, nuts and fruits including apples, pears, peaches, and berries.

Finally, the most effective way to reduce your weight is to maintain a regular eating schedule and record what you eat. Research indicates that those who keep a food diary are much more likely to lose weight, avoid obesity and keep the weight off. In fact, one study found that people who kept a food diary lost twice as much weight as those who didn’t.

Taking the right steps now can help ensure that you do not develop diabetes in the future.
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