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* BE PROACTIVE


MAKING CHANGES Taking charge of lifestyle factors such as what you eat and how much exercise you get on a daily basis is crucial in preventing the progression towards diabetes. People who develop type 2 diabetes generally have a genetic predisposition that makes their bodies susceptible to having either a desensitized response to insulin or the pro- duction of less insulin. Over time, if this trend continues, you will develop type 2 diabetes. One of the best ways to avoid this desensitized response, therefore, is to closely monitor your diet and fitness level, making healthful nutrition choices and increasing your overall activity. It is important to avoid having consistently elevated blood sugars. When blood sugar is high, your pancreas is forced to produce extra insulin to try to reduce blood sugar. This can result in two separate problems. First,


your pancreas can become burned-out over time and begin producing less insulin.


Second, your body can become desensitized to the ef- fects of insulin. This can also result in a negative feed- back loop, where more and more insulin is required to reduce blood sugars, thus desensitizing your body further to the effects of insulin and burning out your pancreas. The most logical way to prevent this from happening — especially if you have a family history of diabetes — is to try to eat foods that have a low glycemic index, or foods that are known not to have as profound an effect on blood sugar, such as fruits, non-starchy vegetables, legumes, whole grains and nuts. Eat fewer foods with a high glycemic index, such as white bread, potatoes and white rice, and limit foods and drinks with a high-sugar content — cookies, cakes and pies, candy and sweet juice drinks and sodas.


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