According to the Philippine Statistics Authority last October 2022, deaths due to diabetes mellitus recorded 16,970 cases or 6.5 percent share, making it the fourth leading cause of death in the country. Let’s talk about how to deal with diabetes and what are some of the healthy habits to learn this 2023!
Diabetes mellitus or more commonly known simply as diabetes is one of the top diseases in the Philippines. It affects how the body uses blood sugar or glucose, which is a very important source of our body’s energy and our mind’s fuel. According to experts, there are varying causes of each type of diabetes. However, regardless of the type of diabetes one has, it can always lead to excess sugar in the body’s blood and therefore usually develops into more serious health issues. Other potentially reversible diabetic conditions include gestational diabetes, which is common in pregnant women and may return to normal after giving birth, and prediabetes, which manifests as higher-than-normal blood sugar levels during tests but is not yet high enough to be classified as diabetes.
It is advisable to visit your doctor if you believe you have a higher risk of developing diabetes due to genetics and lifestyle. Depending on your body's blood sugar level and the type of diabetes you may have, there are some well-known symptoms that often manifest more frequently in people with type 1 diabetes.
The first onset of symptoms is when you feel irritable, tired, and weak more than usual, combined with frequent thirst. It’s likely that your blood sugar is high so have yourself checked. Next, frequent urination, involuntary loss of weight and the presence of slow-healing sores and infections particularly with your skin and gums, are also common signs that you may be at risk of diabetes.
In order to prevent diabetes, which can occur at any age, many experts agree that it is best to start early in life. While this can be challenging, it is important that we manage our diabetes every because doing so will ultimately save our lives. It’s time we reconsider how we consume sugary foods and beverages that are easily accessible and convenient everywhere, like milk tea and soda. We should also deal with our increased propensity to live a more sedentary lifestyle given the availability of so much technology and conveniences.
In recent years, the Philippine government has taken necessary precautions and regulatory steps such as additional taxes on tobacco and high sugar products to help prevent the population from acquiring the disease, however, ultimately, it is up to YOU to make sure that you truly are able to prevent diabetes or manage it effectively if you already have it.
1. Avoid Rice to Control Blood Sugar
Rice is a carbohydrate-rich food that can cause blood sugar levels to rise quickly, especially if it is refined white rice. For people with diabetes or those at risk of developing diabetes, it may be beneficial to limit or avoid rice intake to help control blood sugar levels. However, if you do choose to eat rice, it is important to choose whole grain varieties, as they contain more fiber and nutrients that can help slow down the absorption of glucose into the bloodstream, which can help prevent blood sugar spikes. It is also important to control portion sizes and balance rice intake with other nutrient-dense foods as part of a balanced and healthy diet. It is always recommended to consult with a healthcare professional or registered dietitian for personalized advice on how to manage blood sugar levels through diet.
2. Avoid Smoking and Alcohol Consumption to Reduce Risk of Hypoglycemia
Smoking and excessive alcohol consumption can have a negative impact on those that are dealing with diabetes. It can increase the risk of complications associated with diabetes such as nerve damage, kidney disease, heart disease, and eye problems. Hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar, is a common complication of diabetes. Both smoking and alcohol consumption can increase the risk of hypoglycemia, making it harder to manage blood sugar levels. Smoking and alcohol consumption can also interact with medications used to manage diabetes, making them less effective or increasing the risk of side effects.
3. Substitute Starch with Non-Starchy Vegetables
Starches are a type of carbohydrate that can have a significant impact on blood sugar levels. When eating starchy foods, such as bread, rice, pasta, and potatoes, the body breaks down the starches into glucose, which can cause blood sugar levels to rise quickly. Substituting starchy foods with non-starchy vegetables, such as broccoli, spinach, and kale, can help increase fiber intake while reducing carbohydrate intake. This can help improve blood sugar control and reduce the risk of complications associated with diabetes. Aim to consume at least 2-3 servings of non-starchy vegetables per day as part of a healthy and balanced diet.
4. Consume a Diet Rich in Antioxidants
You may also get your much needed extra boost from superfoods such as Organique Açaì, which aids in lowering your blood glucose and help manage your insulin levels.
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