The holiday season is once again upon us, and it’s the time to drink and eat to your heart’s desire. But the question remains—is it really good for your health? Overeating and drinking too much alcohol can lead to several serious illnesses like hypertension, diabetes, and obesity. In this article, we talk about diabetes and how an unhealthy lifestyle can greatly increase your risk levels.
What is diabetes Diabetes is a chronic illness that affects the level of glucose in your body. If you have diabetes, your pancreas is unable to produce a sufficient amount of insulin to regulate your blood sugar. If left untreated, diabetes can lead to other health problems like heart disease, vision problems, impotence, and in worst cases, amputation of the lower limbs.
Types of diabetes Those with diabetes have either type 1 or type 2 diabetes. The former is usually diagnosed early on in life, while the latter is common among adults aged 40 and above. Here are a few more differences between type 1 and type 2 diabetes:
|Type 1 Diabetes||Type 2 Diabetes|
|Insulin-dependent diabetes||Most common kind of diabetes (90%-95% of those with diabetes suffer from type 2 diabetes)|
|More dangerous than type 2 diabetes||Adult-onset diabetes (found in adults aged 40+)|
|Usually occurs in children and young adults||One of the fastest-growing epidemics in the world|
|The exact cause is unknown, but family medical history is considered a known risk factor||Obesity is a known risk factor|
|Common in those with autoimmune hormone-related diseases|
Healthy lifestyle choices during the holidays
Your lifestyle choices can greatly affect your risk level of developing diabetes. Aside from your family medical history, your unhealthy habits may eventually lead to a lifetime of illnesses. Diabetes can be prevented if you make healthier choices in your diet and day to day routines. Joining the festivities for the holidays shouldn’t be an excuse to indulge in excessive eating and drinking, but that doesn’t mean that you should miss out on all the fun! Here are a few tips in making more healthful choices this holiday season:
- Consider crafting a meal plan for yourself during the holidays. A balanced meal with lean meat, fruits, and healthy carbs not only saves you from a trip to the doctor but can save you a lot of money too!
- Limit your alcohol intake to one or two bottles/glasses. Your liver and wallet will thank you later.
- Adapt good eating practices like eating slowly and chewing your food properly. This will help your body digest your food better and prevent you from overeating. Having a glass of water before eating a meal can also help reduce food intake.
- Avoid unnecessary snacking, most especially during the wee hours of the night. A study from MIT recommends assessing if you are starving or just feeling bored or anxious. If you must snack, consider stocking up on healthy snacks like mixed nuts, yogurt, and fruits.
- Squeeze in some physical activities in between all those holiday parties. Frequent exercise can help you burn calories and lose weight.
- Propose healthier choices for your dinner spread. Research meals that contain high amounts of fiber, and make use of healthy proteins like white chicken meat, turkey, lean beef, etc. Avoid deep-fried food and opt for grilled, roasted, or steamed dishes.
Take note that a healthy lifestyle involves consistency in your diet and exercise schedule. The risk of developing chronic illnesses like diabetes can be reduced if you start living a healthy lifestyle today.
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