Nearly 30 million people in America suffer from diabetes, according to the Endocrine Society. And up to 95 percent of all cases are type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes develops when there isn’t enough insulin being produced by the body or insulin that’s produced doesn’t work like it should, leading to abnormal blood glucose levels.
Diabetes has been on the rise, too. Just under 26 million Americans had diabetes in 2010. But in 2012 that number increased to nearly 30 million. Two out of five adults are likely to develop type 2 diabetes at some point, according to a study found in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology.
If diabetes isn’t properly managed and controlled, it can lead to dangerous health problems including kidney failure, a decrease in blood flow that can result in amputation being required and blindness. Of course, this makes life insurance for diabetics tricky at times. PsychCentral says that for every 100 people suffering from diabetes, 21 experience nerve damage, around 30 have vision problems and 27 end up with diabetic kidney disease.
The best bet is to do what you can to prevent the development of diabetes in the first place. That means being active and eating right. But that’s kind of common sense. Here are a couple ways that many aren’t aware of…
Eat Your Eggs
A study out of Finland revealed that eating eggs may be one way to reduce the risk of developing diabetes. The study followed over 2,000 participants over the course of nearly 20 years. Those who ate the most eggs (more then five per week) had a much lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes than those who ate merely one egg per week on average. The study was published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. This is an interesting finding that contradicts the traditional belief that higher cholesterol foods often leads to heart disease and all the health problems that go along with it.
Get Enough Vitamin D
A vitamin D deficiency may in fact increase the risk of developing diabetes – mostly type 2 diabetes. Even just having low levels of it (an insufficiency) can increase the risk, too. Chantal Mathieu, MD, PhD explains why this may be. He says those with a vitamin D deficiency end up with both an increased insulin resistance and dwindling beta-cell function.
The liver, insulin target cells, beta cells, muscles and adipose tissues all have vitamin D receptors. Vitamin D may have a physiologic role in each one, which means it may also have a role in the pathophysiology of type 2 diabetes.
Note: In studies where participants already had type 2 diabetes, the increase of Vitamin D in their diet didn’t have any effect. So while it may be helpful to prevent type 2 diabetes, it’s not a cure.