While you generally eat nutritiously, work out, and live a normative life, there still might be some pesky habits that you don’t realize are contributing to your risk for diabetes, right now…as we speak. The following is a list of five very common habits that could lead to developing a life-changing disease:
1. Late to bed
A Korean sleep study conducted by Nan Hee Kim, M.D., Ph.D found that men who stay up late into the night are much more likely to develop diabetes than those who hit the sack early in the evening, even if they get the recommended amount of 7-8 hours of nightly sleep. Lower quality sleep might be the cause of disrupted metabolism, which, in turn, leads to a risk for diabetes.
Staying up late is also associated with other detrimental behaviors, like late night eating and exposure to artificial light (television, smartphone, computer), which has been found to be connected to poor blood sugar regulation.
Gradually start getting to bed earlier, and try and observe whether you get better quality sleep.
Lots of men do not consume enough probiotic-rich foods, which contain the healthy bacteria your digestive system needs to balance out the bad bacteria that can damage the lining of your intestines and create widespread inflammation that leads to diabetes.
Start eating more priobiotic-rich foods like yogurt and miso, as well as high-fiber foods that sustain healthy gut bacteria: whole grains, bananas, onions, and artichokes.
3. TV land
While television in small doses is fine, watching your favorite shows or films for hours on end could be contributing to a risk for diabetes. A team at the University of Pittsburgh found that every hour spent lounging in front of the television increases a man’s risk for diabetes by 4%, regardless of your otherwise healthy lifestyle. Too much sitting or lying down depresses the body’s blood flow, and leads to the storage of fat instead of it being burned as energy. This all translates into weight gain, making you more susceptible to diabetes.
No more TV binging – limit your television consumption to one or two episodes per night.
4. Vitamin D deprived
Even being generally healthy and at an acceptable weight might not prevent the development of diabetes without a sufficient amount of vitamin D in your body. A Spanish study discovered a correlation between people with vitamin D deficiency and the occurrence of type 2 diabetes. This might be explained by the job that vitamin D has in the body – to regulate the pancreas, which produces insulin and therefore normalizes blood sugar levels.
Start adding 600-1,000 IU of vitamin D to your diet, daily. This could come from sources like salmon, eggs, milk, or supplements.
Stress at work and home is an unfortunate fact of life. A recent German study found that people with higher levels of stress turned out to be 45% more likely to develop type 2 diabetes. While the connection between stress and health is debated and hard to measure, it’s possible that high stress levels can release cortisol into the body’s bloodstream, causing a disruption in sugar levels.
Reduce the physical effects of stress on your body by exercising 30 minutes a day and getting high-quality sleep.