Managing Type 2 Diabetes: The Best Health Insurance is PreventionApril 29, 2016
No matter how you approach it, weight is a touchy subject. It’s true that being thin doesn’t automatically equal being healthy—we all know someone who somehow stays slim despite an unhealthy diet and lack of exercise—but gaining and keeping on too much weight has been proven to be a contributing factor to a number of health issues. People are often hesitant to talk about weight, but it’s a conversation we need to have if we’re serious about taking care of our health.
Obesity and Type 2 Diabetes
Globally, the obesity rate is predicted to continue to rise, resulting in one in five adults being classified as obese by 2025. In Canada, we’re unfortunately ahead of the trend—one in four Canadian adults is obese today. Recent research suggests that obese people are up to 80 (yes, eighty) times more likely to develop type 2 diabetes than people who are a normal weight.
Preventing Type 2 Diabetes By Eating Right
Considering the above information, you can see how maintaining a healthy weight could help you minimize your risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Of course, there are other risk factors for type 2 diabetes—including family history, age, or other conditions such as polycystic ovarian syndrome—which you should discuss with your doctor.
Losing weight can be tough, but it may not be as tough as you think! You don’t have to stick to an extreme diet to lose weight. Changing your diet for the better involves making a lot of small changes that add up over time.
Cutting down on your sugar intake is an excellent way to lose weight. If you’re a fan of sugary juices or sodas, it’s time to swap them for something else—try carbonated water with a squeeze of lemon or lime juice. Be leery of most cereals as they are loaded in sugars.
Adding more lean protein to your diet will help you stay fuller for longer. Reaching for an extra roll with dinner may seem tempting, but simple carbohydrates like white bread will spike blood sugar and leave you feeling hungry again not too long after you eat. Lean proteins like poultry or fish are lower in calories and keep you feeling satisfied even hours after eating.
If “food rules” leave you feeling confused about what’s “right” to eat, just remember—the fewer steps between the farm and your table, the better. You likely don’t need to calculate your macros down to the gram like a pro athlete. Just aim to eat as little processed food as possible, and more vegetables and unrefined grains like brown rice or quinoa.
Preventing Type 2 Diabetes By Exercising
Another major contributing risk factor for type 2 diabetes is lack of exercise. According to Mayo Clinic, physical activity helps you control your weight, uses up glucose as energy and makes your cells more sensitive to insulin.
I know it’s hard to find time for exercise with all the other things you need to accomplish in a day, but even a little is better than none. Walking for just 30 minutes a day can lend huge health benefits such as improved immune function, better sleeping habits, lowered stress, and lowered risk of health conditions like type 2 diabetes.
People are much more likely to exercise if they do a fun activity. If you hate going to the gym, try signing up for a recreational sports league or taking a dance class. Yoga is another excellent way to increase fitness while reducing stress. For the most part, it doesn’t matter what kind of kind of exercise you do—as long as you are doing something!
Managing Type 2 Diabetes With A Healthier Lifestyle
Even if you lead a healthy lifestyle, you may develop a health issue such as type 2 diabetes. Fortunately, there are things you can do to help manage your condition. Of course, the most important thing is to take your medication in the dose and manner prescribed by your doctor. In addition to your medication, keeping your blood glucose levels in the target range set by your doctor allows you to live a long and healthy life despite your type 2 diabetes diagnosis.
Eating healthy meals and snacks will help keep your blood sugar regulated. Like I mentioned before, avoid sugary and processed foods and stick to foods you tend to find around the outer edge of your grocery store—fruits, vegetables, meat, dairy products, and some grains.
Keeping up regular physical activity can also help regulate your blood sugar. Find an activity that you enjoy, or can participate in with a friend or social group. In addition to the immediate physical benefits, regular exercise goes a long way in managing stress and improving your mood. A healthy attitude can help you manage a challenging health condition just as much as a healthy body!
The Medavie Health Foundation Cares About Type 2 Diabetes
One of the things I’m passionate about is helping my clients get the information they need to stay healthy. Not only does it help keep your health costs low, but it also enables you to live your life to the fullest.
I’m proud to offer insurance products from Medavie Blue Cross, because they care about helping people become and stay healthy the same way I do. Through the Medavie Health Foundation—to which they donate 10% of all revenue—Blue Cross invests in community initiative and projects to improve the health of Canadians across the country. Their two major focuses are youth mental health and type 2 diabetes prevention and management, both of which are very important to me. To learn more about their important community work, click here to visit their website.
Protect Your Health With Health Insurance
If you are at risk for type 2 diabetes—and especially if some of your identified risk factors are out of your control—it’s important to have a health care plan in place before you are diagnosed. This applies to any other health condition, too! It’s much easier to get comprehensive health coverage for an affordable price before you are diagnosed with any condition or disease.
If you are currently covered by a group health insurance plan through your employer, it’s worth looking into how you might supplement that coverage with a private health care plan. Some plans, like the Medavie Blue Cross Elements plan, allow you to purchase just a little extra coverage and increase it when you need to (for example, if you lost your job) without having to re-qualify medically. This is a great way to protect yourself from coverage loss should you be diagnosed with a new health condition and then have to switch insurance providers.
If you are concerned about your health, you should always talk to your doctor first. After that, come talk to me about ways to protect your health, your finances, your family, and your future. I’m always happy to offer you advice and help you find the best insurance products to fit your lifestyle. Contact me today and let’s talk about your health!