By: Aria Gmitter
When my doctor first informed me that many of the symptoms I’ve experienced for years were all connected to a diabetic diagnosis, I was scared. Food suddenly became the enemy and my body the camp where war was raged against my health. My awareness made me seek simple steps to begin improving my situation. These three lifestyle changes have consistently proven to be effective. On the days that I have skipped even one of them, my morning glucose readings have been higher.
Lifestyle Habit 1: Add cinnamon to your diet
Recent studies have shown that cinnamon not only reduces triglycerides but this spice also helps lower glucose levels. According to one particular “study involving people with type 2 diabetes demonstrating mean improvements in blood glucose ranging from 18 to 29%; triglycerides, 23 to 30%; LDL-cholesterol, 7 to 27% and total cholesterol, 12 to 26%”. [Abstract – Diabetes Care: American Diabetes Association] Knowing that diabetes is a main contributor to heart disease, I’ve committed to making 1 teaspoon of cinnamon a part of my daily diet.
Lifestyle Habit 2: Eat 1 cup of cottage cheese
If you don’t like cottage cheese, you can find delicious ways to sneak some in while cooking. (recipe ideas for diabetics) Researchers compared various proteins on glucose resistance. Cottage cheese provided the greatest benefit to Type 2 Diabetics. I have found that the best way to start the day is to eat cottage cheese with fruit for breakfast. The protein – carb combination keeps glucose levels controlled without any heavy drops or peaks between breakfast and lunchtime. It’s important to know when cottage cheese is combined with egg white protein, the benefit slightly lowers. [Abstract – Metabolic Response: Institute of Health] Select 2% or 4% fat and avoid no fat cottage cheese products which often have higher sugar content.
Lifestyle Habit 3: Walk 60 minutes a day
The benefit of walking even as little as 20 minutes a day lasts for 24 hours. Walking helps weight loss and improves glucose levels while gaining all the other health benefits walking daily brings. Walking is best after a meal. It allows your body to use the carbohydrate source as it metabolizes into your system; and it helps your body to decrease insulin resistance. If you are a person who has a tendency to eat bigger evening meals, walk after dinner to help reduce your after-meal glucose levels. [Diabetes Self-Management on walking and benefits] If you can’t walk outside, walk from room-to-room while moving your long muscles for the same amount of time will give you a similar health benefit. Walking is just as good as running so don’t feel that you have to do more than necessary for this particular health benefit. What’s important is to find a habit that you can keep and make into part of your normal lifestyle routine.
I have learned to look forward to these three simple lifestyle changes as part of my daily routine. A cup of cottage cheese with a piece of fruit and followed by a simple walk has connected little choices to great blessings. Feel free to share and comment below which lifestyle habits have helped you.