Diabetes is a metabolic disorder in which your body has difficulty breaking down the sugar that you ingest. This happens when your body is either not producing enough insulin or is not producing any insulin at all. Insulin, a hormone normally produced by the pancreas, is necessary for your body to break down glucose and turn it into energy. After digestion, glucose passes into the bloodstream, where it is used by the cells for growth and energy. Insulin enables the glucose to enter the cells. If there isn't enough insulin, sugar builds up in the blood, which can lead to many health problems.
The two most common types of diabetes are type 1 and type 2 diabetes. In the case of type 1 diabetes, the body doesn't produce any insulin at all, and must receive insulin injections. In type 2 diabetes, the body doesn't produce enough insulin. Type 2 diabetes can be controlled with medication, diet and exercise [source: medical news today].
There are a number of easy things you can do to prevent diabetes. First and foremost, the American Diabetes Association recommends proper nutrition and fitness. You can start doing things today that will help prevent diabetes [source: diabetes-guide]:
- Avoid foods that contain large amounts of sugar and carbohydrates.
- Avoid foods that contain trans-fats.
- Eat a diet that's high in fiber. Raw fruits, vegetables and whole grain foods are good choices.
- Exercise. Walk, run or do any type of physical activity that works up a sweat for at least half an hour a day.
- Do not smoke.
- Do not drink alcoholic beverages.
- If you're overweight, work towards a normal weight for your body type. (The above diet and exercise tips should help you lose weight without even thinking about it.)