" Sugar has the ability to attach itself to protein in our body and damage various tissues including the blood vessels."
Around 4 million people in the UK and 30 million people in the USA live with diabetes. Diabetes is one of the major causes of premature deaths worldwide. Diabetics are particularly prone to organ failures, heart disease and accelerated ageing. Diabetes also increases the risk of dying from Covid-19.
High Blood Sugar Levels Trigger AGEs
High blood sugar levels cause inflammation in the body. Chronic inflammation has been associated with various diseases such as diabetes, cancer and heart disease.
Inside our body, sugar attaches itself to protein, causing damage to collagen, elastin and other protein structures. Known as glycation, this process triggers the formation of advanced glycation end products (AGEs). AGEs damage various tissues including the blood vessels that distribute nutritions to every living cell in our body. Insulin helps prevent the formation of AGEs. Due to resistance to insulin or lack of insulin, diabetics are more prone to premature ageing and death.
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Stop Diabetes To Age You
It is significantly important to maintain healthy blood sugar levels in our body. Over time, high blood sugar levels cause chronic inflammation and trigger the development of many diseases. Getting an early diagnosis and treatment is crucial in managing diabetes. If you think that you may have diabetes, you should see your GP as soon as possible. To live healthy with diabetes, you need to change your lifestyle and habits.
1. Improve your diet
Cutting down on sugar intake is a must. Limit the consumption of sugary foods and beverages including those that are rich in refined carbohydrates. Keep foods with a high glycemic index (GI) for special occasions only. High glycemic index foods like white bread, pasta and cakes cause a rapid increase in blood sugar levels. Eat mostly fresh vegetables, fruits, herbs and seeds with a low glycemic index. Studies showed that ginger and cinnamon help regulate blood sugar levels. For therapeutic benefits, ginger should be eaten raw. Eating ginger and cinnamon daily reduces the risk of diabetes, particularly type 2 diabetes.
Control the calorie intake. Eating more foods than our body needs will damage our health in the long run. We need to maintain a healthy weight. Men should aim for a smaller than 0.9 waist-to-hip ratio while women should aim for a smaller than 0.8 waist-to-hip ratio. Waist-to-hip ratio can be used to predict the risk for stroke, heart attack and heart disease.
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2. Stay active
It is important for diabetics to remain active physically. Moderate exercise three to four times a week helps regulate the blood sugar levels and increases the body's sensitivity to insulin. If you hardly exercise before, don't worry. Even a 30 minute walk a day can be beneficial for your health. Regular exercise helps reduce stress levels too. Stress can increase your body's insulin resistance.
Always remember to adjust the intensity of exercise according to your physical condition. Don't push yourself over the limit. Avoid injuring yourself. You can ask help from a personal trainer to benefit most from regular exercise.
3. Get enough sleep
While physical exercise increases the insulin sensitivity, sleep deprivation does the opposite. People who sleep less than 7 hours a day tend to be more resistant to insulin. Adults need between 7 and 8 hour sleep a day. If you find it difficult to fall asleep at night, try to relax at least an hour or two before going to bed. Avoid eating any big meal within three hours before bed time. Being active during the day can improve the quality and quantity of your sleep. If you are healthy, avoid taking a nap during the day to help you sleep better at night.
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Henry Tianus is a multi-award-winning Anti-Ageing Scientist based in London, UK. Henry Tianus has been listed as The Recognised Institute Practitioner at The Institute of Traditional Herbal Medicine and Aromatherapy (ITHMA), London (UK) since 2005. Henry Tianus's articles have been read by people in more than 100 countries with USA and UK at the top of the list. Join Henry Tianus eNewsletter to receive the latest health and wellbeing tips.
Scientific Sources: Associations between sleep loss and increased risk of obesity and diabetes, Annals of The New York Academy of Sciences, 28 June 2008; The Effects of Ginger on Fasting Blood Sugar, Hemoglobin A1c, Apolipoprotein B, Apolipoprotein A-I and Malondialdehyde in Type 2 Diabetic Patients, Iranian Journal of Pharmaceutical Research, 2015 Winter; 14(1): 131–140.
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