At our house, my teens and I have a little joke. If somebody stacks their plate high with syrupy waffles, adds sugar to sweetened cereal or has two PB&Js for dinner when I’ve already cooked tilapia (you know who you are), we call out their meal as a “diabetes starter kit.” Of course, diabetes is no joke. It runs deep in my family — and perhaps yours too. Trying to keep it at bay, I’ve been adding stevia to my morning tea with just a little sprinkle of sugar to mask the taste (baby steps). Still, stressing about a recent disappointment, I did hit the Oreo Double Stufs a little hard last night (progress, not perfection).
Stress. The things we do when stressed. Or exhausted. Or so stuck with our mind on grind that we’re not conscious of the healthy choice that’s just as accessible as the default choice. We all know a high-sugar diet that causes unhealthy weight gain can raise our risk. Another habit for some when things get hectic is heading out for a cigarette break. Of course, we already know that’s linked to many deadly diseases — diabetes is one of them. I wonder why junk food doesn’t come with a black box warning?
Now, Sis, there are a few other habits that many of us may not consider could raise our diabetes risk. They are just things we may do to unwind, veg out or enjoy a little me-time before work or after the dishwasher is loaded. You do you. Just know that we can benefit from doing a few things less often, or in moderation. You want evidence-based tips on this, find them here on aarp.org. Below, I’ll just let you in on what they are:
- Skipping a healthy breakfast. Doing this, we miss out on a chance to stave off cravings and keep blood glucose stable. That morning meal (not drive-through doughnuts, now) can help you reach or maintain a healthy body mass index.
- Sitting for longer than 30 minutes at a time. Sooooo easy to do — especially with a deadline or a good movie on. I know I get up more frequently if I have a jug of water nearby — and I make a point of running upstairs to the bathroom for a little activity boost.
- Drinking more than one glass of wine (two for men) in a 24-hour period. It’s a generous pour that’ll trip you up there. Sip and savor if you like a little vino in the evening.
- Not getting enough sleep. Because it always seems like there are just three episodes left.
- Eating processed foods. The stuff we busy gals pull out of the fridge or cabinet to shave 20 minutes off dinner prep. For me, that might be precooked frozen meatballs from time to time. But I big batched several quarts of homemade pea soup last weekend, so I’m good.
Take care, Sis.