The 20-Minute Trick to Prevent Type 2 Diabetes

STOP DIABETES

If you’re stressed, in a hurry, or both, it’s easy to inhale your food. And a lot of people do eat quickly…in the car, on the way out the door, at the office. Or maybe mealtime at home always feels like a mad dash. Sound familiar?

What you eat certainly makes a difference when it comes to your health. But a recent study found that how you eat may also affect the way your body responds to food.1

In the study, researchers found that eating fast may be linked to an increased risk for diabetes. Your mom was right…chew your food.

In the U.S. about 37 million people have type 2 diabetes. And another 96 million people have prediabetes.2 Left unchecked, diabetes can lead to:

  • Poor circulation
  • Kidney failure
  • Blindness
  • Strokes
  • Heart disease
  • Amputations
  • Early death

Is there anything you can do to prevent diabetes?

There’s some simple things you can do that can prevent or control type 2 diabetes, if you’re consistent:

  • Eat a healthy diet (mainly plant-based foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds, healthy fats, and legumes).
  • Maintain a healthy weight or lose weight if you need to.
  • Get regular exercise (even 20 to 30 minutes of walking makes a difference).
  • Avoid fad diets and junk foods (like soda, sugary sweets, and foods make from refined carbohydrates)

And there’s at least one more thing you can do to help prevent type 2 diabetes…

Slow down at meal time.

Here’s how:

  • Time it. Set a timer or stopwatch for 20 minutes. Use all the time to eat a normal-sized meal.
    Chew your food. Take small bites and chew slowly.
  • Be quiet. Eat silently for the first five minutes. Think about your food, what it looks like, how it tastes, and what it took to produce.
  • Slow down your eating. Try using your nondominant hand to hold your fork. Put your fork down when you chew. Or try using chopsticks

References

1. Gudi, S.K, et al. (2020). Eating speed and the risk of type 2 diabetes: explorations based on real-world evidence. Annals of Pediatric Endocrinology & Metabolism, 25(2): 80-83. From: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7336266/

2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2022). The facts, stats, and impacts of diabetes. From: https://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/library/spotlights/diabetes-facts-stats.html

Do THIS 30-Minutes a Day to Prevent Diabetes

Prevent Diabetes

“Do everything you can to prevent diabetes.” That’s advice lifestyle medicine expert Dr. Gerard McLane has been sharing for decades.

Why? An estimated 34 million people in the U.S. have type 2 diabetes. And more than 88 million (or 1 in 3), have prediabetes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Left unchecked, diabetes can lead to serious health problems like:

  • Nerve damage
  • Poor circulation
  • Kidney failure
  • Vision loss
  • Increased risk for a heart attack or stroke

But it doesn’t have to be this way.

Lace up your shoes and go

New research shows that walking for just 30 minutes a day can lower the risk for diabetes and control blood sugar levels.1

The study followed about 45,000 people for 18 years. Researchers found that physical activity, including walking cut the risk for diabetes by:

  • 12% with low levels of activity
  • 20% with moderate levels of activity
  • 25% with 30-plus minutes of activity per day

Based on the findings, researchers believe regular walking and physical activity could help prevent about 19% of all diabetes cases.

So what are you waiting for? Lace up your shoes and go for a walk, jog or run:

  • Take a walk break during your work day.
  • Walk around the block at home after dinner.
  • If it’s close enough, walk to the store to run errands or buy groceries.
  • Or plan a hike for the weekend.

Walk at least 30 minutes a day, and you’ll be healthier and happier. You’ll also:

Burn calories. Walking burns calories (about 200 to 300 per hour) and fat. This helps you lose weight.

Reduce blood pressure. If your blood pressure is 120/80 or higher, you’ve got some work to do. The good news: Walking helps reduce blood pressure.

Lower cholesterol. If your cholesterol is high, it can clog your arteries, make them stiff, and raise the risk for a heart attack or stroke. Research shows brisk walking is an effective way to lower cholesterol.

Improve mood. Ever have one of those days? You know, you’re stressed out or feeling down about something. In one study, an easy 15 to 20-minute walk was just enough to help people turn things around and feel better.

If you don’t have 30 minutes in your schedule, take a few 10-minute walk breaks, and you’ll still reap the benefits.

Some research suggests a walk each day can also help curb food cravings, reduce joint pain, boost immune function, and help you live longer.

Want to be healthier? Put on a pair of comfortable shoes, and go for a walk.

6 Steps to Build Healthier-Eating Habits

Healthy Eating Habit

Eat healthier. Chances are pretty good you’ve heard the advice before.

Maybe you’ve even given a few things a try to improve your diet. Then went back to your old ways. You know…ice cream, soda, pizza, treats. That ever happen?

If you want to improve your eating habits, it’s usually not a cold-turkey, overnight success. It takes a little work, a little patience and practice.

But the more you do it, the easier it gets to make better food choices. Ready to build better eating habits you’ll actually stick with?

Here are some things you can do:

1. Read nutrition labels

 It’s pretty simple. Pick up a package, and check the label. You don’t have to be a food scientist to understand it.

Just two pieces of information on the label can help you make better food choices:

  • Calories
  • Serving size

Other nutrition label data to check out:

  • Sugar
  • Sodium
  • Fat
  • Cholesterol
  • Ingredients

Research shows that people who read food labels have better success with weight loss and weight management.1

Can’t find a food label? You can find nutrition data for most foods online, including restaurant meals..

2. Keep a food journal

Write down everything you eat. Breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, and drinks.

Sounds like a lot of work, right?

Here’s the thing…research shows that keeping a food journal helps you be more aware of what you’re eating. And it helps you make better food choices.

In fact, one study found that people who kept track of their food choices, even without following a particular diet, lost 6 pounds in three months.2

You can write down what you eat. Or use a smartphone app to make it even easier to keep track of what you eat, count calories, and even record your weight.

3. Eat fresh

Does your diet look a little SAD? If it does, you’re not alone.

The Standard American Diet menu looks like this: Pizza, burgers, fries, sugary drinks, fried food, processed meals, treats and snacks.

And if you want to develop healthy eating habits, you need to work on replacing SAD foods with more fresh foods like:

  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Whole grains
  • Fish
  • Poultry
  • Nuts & seeds
  • Legumes

Take a closer look at the DASH Diet (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) or the Mediterranean Diet, and you’ll find they’re a lot in common.

Eating more fresh and unprocessed foods can also help prevent chronic health conditions like diabetes, heart disease, obesity, and hypertension.

4. Drink more water

Here’s another great way to improve your diet by making a simple switch.

Drink more water.3 Aim for about 8 glasses or 64 ounces per day. More if you’re really active or live in a hot climate.

If that sounds hard, just start small. Drink a glass of water when you wake up. Have a glass of water with meals. And carry a water bottle with you during the day.

Drinking water helps you stay hydrated, improve digestion, control calories, and feel better.

5. Plan meals & cook at home more often

It’s just about dinner time, and you realize you don’t have anything prepared…again.

Next stop…the drive-thru. That ever happen?

There’s a couple problems with going out to eat frequently.

  • It can get expensive.
  • But more importantly, most restaurant meals are high in fat, sugar, and empty calories.

So try this…plan meals a week in advance, go grocery shopping, and cook at home more often. You can even prepare meals ahead of time for your busy days, and store in the fridge or freezer.

Research shows that people who cook at home more than five times a week tend to:4

  • Eat more fruits and vegetables
  • Eat fewer calories
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Have a normal Body Mass Index

6. Eat healthier snacks

Pass the potato chips, cheese dip, soda and cookies. That sound like a typical watch-the-game or binge-watch activity?

Here’s another way to develop healthy eating habits. Take a good look at your go-to snacks. What’s healthy? What’s not? And what can you do to improve?

  • Try fresh-cut veggies instead of chips.
  • Have a cheese stick instead of a candybar.
  • Drink a glass of water, or even a fruit smoothie, instead of a soda.
  • Have a piece of fruit instead of a bowl of ice cream
  • Look for simple swaps you can make to eat healthier snacks.

You’ll cut calories, improve your health, and develop healthy habits for life.