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Habits Secretly Increasing Your Blood Sugar

The lifestyle you lead plays a great role in how you live your life.
FACT CHECKED BY Emilia Paluszek

Every day millions of people knowingly and unknowingly make lifestyle choices that are damaging their bodies. Most of the time, your daily habits increase the amount of stress on the body and cause it to be less resistant to insulin. This, over time, leads to increased blood sugar levels.

For over a decade, it has been believed that the primary cause of type II diabetes is a high intake of an unhealthy diet, obesity, and a sedentary lifestyle. However, lean individuals who develop type II diabetes exhibit visceral obesity, ectopic fat deposition, and an overall decrease in BMI.

Hence, some scientists believe that there are many more factors involved in the cause of type II diabetes. These include aging, ethnicity, aerobic fitness, physical activity level, and family history. Do you know even your daily habits have a great impact on your blood sugar? This article is a compilation of habits secretly increasing your blood sugar levels. Read on to find out more—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had COVID.


Physical Inactivity

overweight woman at home lying on the floor, laptop in front of her, prepared to work out on mat according to video

You might be surprised to learn that maintaining a regular workout regimen can assist you in type 2 diabetes prevention. In a high-risk group, the American Diabetes Association advises engaging in at least 150 minutes of weekly moderate- to vigorous-intensity physical activity as part of a lifestyle change to avoid type 2 diabetes.

By enhancing insulin sensitivity in your muscles, exercise aids in blood sugar regulation. This is significant since type 2 diabetics often struggle to control their blood sugar levels. Exercise improves insulin sensitivity, which can help to alleviate high blood sugar levels.

If you are physically active, you may have a lower risk of type 2 diabetes than people who sit around. According to studies, those with higher cardiorespiratory fitness and muscular strength have a lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes.


Eating Habits

Man eating pizza having a takeaway at home relaxing resting

Obesity is a risk factor for type 2 diabetes, but eating habits play a role in whether or not someone develops type 2 diabetes. Dietary changes, such as reducing total calories and fat (including saturated fat) and increasing fiber and whole grains, can help reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

Also, it is seen that neither total fat nor total carbs, as a percentage of total energy consumption, significantly contribute to the onset of type 2 diabetes. Studies have indicated that the quality of fat and carbohydrates may be more significant than the quantity affecting your blood sugar.

Hence, we can say that a dietary pattern high in fiber-rich food items such as vegetables, fruits, whole grains, seeds, and nuts, plus white meat sources, protects against type 2 diabetes. However, a dietary pattern high in processed and red meat, refined cereals, and saturated fatty acids (SFA) increase the risk of type 2 diabetes.


Smoking and Alcohol Consumption

Hand stubbed out cigarette in a transparent ashtray on wooden table

In addition to obesity, unhealthy eating habits, and physical inactivity, there are other risk factors for type 2 diabetes, such as cigarette smoking and heavy alcohol consumption. Although these factors have not been studied as extensively as obesity and unhealthy eating habits, they may be important determinants of type 2 diabetes risk.

The research shows that smoking is associated with an increased risk of type 2 diabetes. Smoking cessation is often accompanied by substantial weight gain and obesity, which may also lead to the development of diabetes.

Researchers have found that men who quit smoking within 5 years of study enrollment gained weight, increasing their risk of diabetes. Only after 5 years of quitting smoking did the benefits of quitting become apparent, and it took 20 years for the risk to return to that of non-smokers.

It has been shown that people who drink small amounts of alcohol have a lower risk of getting diabetes. But excessive alcohol consumption may increase their risk of diabetes. Evidence suggests that individuals consuming 1 to 4 drinks per day are at an approximately 30% to 40% lower risk for type 2 diabetes. However, this protective effect disappears or is much less when people consume more than 4 drinks per day.


Depression and Stress

woman puts hands on head, stressed, busy at work

Stress can be hard to define because it depends on the person and how he or she copes with it, so research on stress and diabetes has produced mixed results. However, a 35-year study on stress done in Swedish men found that when a person reports stress, he is more likely to develop diabetes.

The feeling of being under stress for an extended period of time can predict the development of diabetes, even if you are successful in other areas of your life, such as maintaining a healthy weight and not smoking. A greater risk of diabetes has been observed in people who are experiencing symptoms of depression or anxiety. It appears that the relationship between depressive mood and diabetes is bi-directional, meaning that both can influence each other.

When you're stressed, your body releases stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline. These hormones are meant to give you an energy boost so that you can fight or flee, but they actually make it harder for insulin to work properly, at least in the short term, by making your cells resistant to it. As a result, you will develop insulin resistance, and your blood sugar levels will rise.

Stress can be tough to manage, but there are lots of ways to cope. Remember to be kind to yourself and get the needed support to cope.


Inadequate Sleep

man stressed in bed that he can't sleep

Noise or light at night can cause sleep disturbances. Similarly, shift-workers are more likely to experience disturbed sleep caused by their work schedules. Also, some do not get enough sleep because they spend too much time on activities such as hobbies or watching television.

According to a recent meta-analysis, sleeping 7–8 hours per day is associated with the lowest risk of diabetes, while sleeping 9 hours or more is associated with an increased risk of 9%. Short and long sleep durations are both associated with a significantly increased risk of type 2 diabetes, reinforcing the importance of achieving an appropriate sleep duration is essential in the prevention of type 2 diabetes.


Final Words

doctor mature patient checkup

The lifestyle you lead plays a great role in how you live your life. So, by reducing your daily habits that are contributing to raising blood sugar levels, you can stay healthy without the need for a highly restrictive diet and medications. Eating healthier and exercising more is the only solution to overcoming diabetes.

With this article, we hope that we can spread awareness about the fact that not all habits are good for you. Even if you eat well and exercise, your body is still a part of a larger system. We have to be mindful of how each habit affects the whole. And to protect your life and the lives of others, don't visit any of these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.

Dr. Rashmi Byakodi is a writer who helps her readers live healthier and happier lives.

Dr. Rashmi Byakodi
Dr. Rashmi Byakodi is a writer who helps her readers live healthier and happier lives. Read more about Dr. Rashmi