Preventing Type 2: Healthy Glucose Habits We Can Model For Our Kids
Children are more likely to learn from what adults do than from anything we say, which can actually work to our advantage.
By modeling healthy behaviors that promote good blood sugar control we keep our own levels in check, and plant the seeds of a healthy glucose lifestyle in our kids, or grandkids.
Healthy Glucose Habits To Model
Here are seven ways to model naturally good blood sugar control:
- We need plenty of soluble and insoluble fiber in our daily diet for good glucose control. Whole foods such as chia seeds, berries, nuts, root vegetables and tubers (e.g., onions, cauliflower, potatoes), other vegetables (e.g., broccoli, Brussels sprouts, peas, green beans), legumes, and flaxseed meal are excellent fiber sources.
- Limit the intake of processed foods and snacks. They tend to have little or no fiber, and are usually high in refined carbohydrates and added sugars. Processing and absorbing an overload of carbs taxes, and eventually overwhelms our insulin producing cells.
- High quality fats in our diet are necessary for heart health, to nourish brain cells, and to help us feel satisfied so we don’t overeat, or over-snack. Quality fat sources include olives and olive oil, coconut oil, nuts, avocados, butter (preferably from organic/grass-fed milk), grass-fed meats, and eggs (especially organic free-range).
- The liver releases a blood glucose elevating hormone when we are dehydrated, so drinking plenty of water each day helps lower blood sugar naturally. (If your urine is typically a light yellow, you are likely well hydrated.)
- Regular exercise helps prevent the onset of most diseases, including type 2 diabetes, so active adults are especially good role models for children.
- Getting seven to nine hours of shuteye most nights is a healthy habit to cultivate. Inadequate sleep is associated with reduced insulin sensitivity, increased snacking, weight gain, and an overall diminished sense of well being.
- Practice some type of relaxation technique such as yoga, prayer, meditation, Tai chi, controlled breathing, visualization, or Qi gong. Consistently high levels of stress influence our body’s inflammatory response, blood sugar levels, and have been linked to numerous illnesses including diabetes and heart disease.
Our kids may roll their eyes as we share our pearls of wisdom, but they naturally observe and absorb the things we habitually do. That does not guarantee they will follow suit as they mature, but the way we live our lives will always be our greatest influence.