In the global scheme of things, chances are you’re one of two people: A “Gonna Do” person, as in I’m gonna do this or that, or a “Do Person” as in I deVinitively will accomplish this or that. Others label it differently. 2Pac cited himself a “Ryda”, as in getting goals accomplished, and those less capable as “Bustas”. As it pertains to the realm of health and Vitness, I myself often ask clients, Are you a sugar or grease person? More often than not, the answer is sugar, especially when it comes to females. Many opt to forego the heavy meats and such but quiver with anticipation when it comes to breads, mufVins and the like. Why exactly are carbohydrates, speciVically high glycemic carbs, so hard to resist?
Of the three macronutrients found in food: protein, fat and carbohydrates, carbs are most efViciently utilized as fuel and speciVically high-glycemic carbs as immediate, short-term energy sources. This is why Gatorade is commonly used in sports for its immediate energy uptake.
A problem exists, however, when one’s carb intake throughout the day resides mostly, (as in the American diet), from high-glycemic carbs, (fruits, breads, processed foods), instead of long-term energy sources, (oatmeal, yams, beans, quinoa and brown rice), which provide more sustained energy for longer periods of time minus the ups and downs often associated with sugar and sugar-induced energy drinks; which, at best, provide fumes, rather than a full tank of gas to arrive at said destination.
Aside from lack of performance in day-to-day life associated with a high sugar intake, and its obvious aesthetic side effects, (namely obesity), a real danger exists regarding this lifestyle, in the long term. It is a disease, nary to be heard, in malls across the country where sugar, in its many forms, can be purchased right next to your local Hello Kitty kiosk: "Diabetes".
Diabetes is a near incurable disease, in which a person has high blood sugar, generally because the body does not produce enough insulin. Insulin is responsible for regulating both carbohydrate and fat metabolism within the body. Some diabetic signs are increased hunger, thirst and frequent urination, as well as blurred vision. The normal blood sugar measurement is between 65-140. A high number is between 250- 350 and anything over 350 is considered very high.
In addition, if blood sugar falls too low, the body will react by releasing a hormone from the pancreas called, "glycogen". Glycogen can be converted back into glucose in the regulating of blood sugar. Furthermore, protein can also be broken down into glucose.
There are generally two forms of diabetes: Type 1 and Type 2. Type 1 requires the person to inject insulin as the body fails to produce it on its own and can affect both children and adults alike. Type 2 stems from insulin resistance, also known as Adult-onset diabetes in which the cells are unable to properly use insulin. Type 2 is, as it exists, is the most common form.
The maintenance for diabetes is in keeping blood sugar levels as close to normal and can be achieved with close dietary management via eating at regular intervals, consistent exercise and the use of medications when warranted. Further unhealthy activities such as smoking, drinking, high blood pressure, a sedentary lifestyle and elevated cholesterol levels are all further contraindicated behaviors regarding this disease. Since Type 1 can affect both the lean and obese populace and is often inherited, this article is directed primarily toward Type 2, which is largely attributable to lifestyle.
What follows is my top 10 action item list for ways to control, not cure of this disease and live a quality of life if you are currently diagnosed with Diabetes.
By the way, when I myself am posed the question if I am a grease or sugar person I always answer, “Both!” However, since Diabetes runs in my family, I make it beyond my job, but my life, to stay informed and take care of my body and those I come into contact.
TOP 10 DIABETES CHECK LIST:
1. LOW-GLYCEMIC INTAKE – Those of whom derive their calories from lean protein sources, healthy fats and long-acting carbohydrate sources, that do not spike insulin levels, is the primary ticket for not only in keeping lean, but keeping yourself alive. Be savvy of what goes into your prepared food and look for hidden sugars.
2. EXERCISE – Will lower not only your body-weight, (adipose tissue), but also an elevated blood sugar level as well as improve your heartbeat and circulation.
3. FIBER - Studies have shown that an increased Viber intake, (slowly and with plenty of hydration), can lower blood sugar levels significantly with those with type 2.
4. LIFESTYLE – Those who make exercise and nutrition their lifestyle or long-distance journey rather than fad, (sprint), are more likely to keep diabetes in check.
5. NON-SEDENTARY LIFESTYLE – For those in an ofVice setting, it may prove even more important to make an attempt to keep moving. I recall my days as an editor sitting for extended periods of time experiencing lethargy and sluggishness. Take stairs instead of an elevator; make an effort to be more active. For you gamers out there, (myself included), the X-Box Kinect, or PS3 Move or Wii are radical ideas in getting our populace moving through video gaming.
6. COFFEE – Studies have proven that caffeine boosts metabolism. I’m in.
7. SPICES - Cinnamon can possibly lower blood sugar as well as help the body to increase its natural production of insulin. That and the fact that it goes very well with oatmeal, make it a no-brainer.
8. RELAXATION – Stress leads to elevated blood sugar levels and relaxing activities will help promote a mental feeling of bliss or satiety and keep your nerves and blood sugar in check. Try daily allotments of yoga, reading or some other enjoyable activity.
9. SLEEP – Studies have shown those with less than 6 hours of sleep per night doubled their diabetes risk. Generally avoiding caffeine after 4pm, or other such stimulants, will help you to achieve a good night’s rest.
10. REGULAR BLOOD TEST – A blood test will definitively tell you if you are at risk as many of the symptoms remain silent. Diet and exercise additions may even prevent a lifetime of medications!
Remember that those diagnosed with diabetes face a lifelong monitoring of healthy eating, exercise, blood sugar monitoring and medications (when warranted.)
Wishing you all very happy holidays and an even more wonderful 2011.
Remember, year-rounders don’t need resolutions – do a good dose daily!
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