Great news: You don’t have to overhaul your life to keep diabetes at bay. New research finds you can eat, drink, and play your way to better blood sugar with a few fun indulgences. Here are three healthy suggestions for you to try — including a delicious snack, an enjoyable workout, and a boozey treat.
Nibble on two truffles.
Savoring two chocolate truffles a day betters blood sugar with every bite. Brigham Young University scientists say cocoa’s epicatechin monomers prod the pancreas to release insulin, improving the body’s ability to ferry glucose out of the bloodstream. Plus, chocolate brims with magnesium, something research in Diabetes Care found cuts diabetes risk by up to 47 percent. The trick: Choose up to 1 ounce (about two truffles) of sugar-free dark chocolate, which has higher levels of glucose-regulating compounds and won’t trigger blood-sugar spikes. Try: Russell Stover Stevia-Sweetened Truffles ($8.98 from Amazon).
Hit the mall twice a week.
One of the coolest places to escape on a sweltering day is the mall, and making two pit stops a week (even if you’re just window shopping) reduces risk of diabetes by up to 25 percent, a study in the journal Diabetologia found. It might not seem like you’re getting a workout, but strolling air-conditioned aisles for a little over an hour twice weekly is an easy way to stay active, especially during the dog days of summer. And according to the same British study, even just a half hour of activity makes your body more sensitive to insulin, improving blood-sugar control for up to 72 hours. Bonus: Regular light activity (like mall walking) lessens odds of a heart attack by 42 percent.
Clink two times.
Saying cheers with a glass of red wine or chilled rosé with dinner at least twice a week may cut the risk of developing diabetes by 14 percent, suggests Tulane University research.
Scientists credit polyphenols in grape skins that give wine its red or pink hue with lowering blood sugar, especially when paired with food. How? They reduce the amount of glucose that enters your bloodstream, improving insulin sensitivity.
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This article originally appeared in our print magazine, Woman’s World.