Type 2 diabetes has become increasingly more common among adults, and now with the rise in childhood obesity, that increase has spread to children. Diabetes is a chronic disease which left untreated, can cause serious health complications and even be fatal. This is why prevention is important.
Before developing diabetes, individuals go through a phase in which their blood glucose levels are elevated, but not to the extent that they can be diagnosed with diabetes. It’s estimated that up to 70% of people with prediabetes go on to develop type 2 diabetes; however, that doesn’t have to be the case. Even though there are factors you may not be able to change, such as genetics, there are steps you can take to reduce your risk.
Control Your Weight
Diet and exercise are critical factors in preventing diabetes. If you eat a healthy balanced diet and exercise regularly, you have a much better chance of avoiding such a diagnosis. When it comes to nutrition, foods high in sugar and refined carbohydrates should be consumed less often. Sugary foods and foods high in carbohydrates raise the amount of sugar in your bloodstream, which causes your pancreas to produce more insulin. This overproduction of insulin over time can lead to type 2 diabetes. Lowering your consumption of these types of foods can help your body maintain healthy blood sugar levels.
Reducing the amount of sugary and high carb foods you eat doesn’t have to leave you starving. By increasing the amount of fiber you consume, you will still be able to feel full. High fiber foods are things like nuts, vegetables, fruits, beans, and whole grains. Another health benefit of eating high fiber foods is they can help you avoid heart disease as well as diabetes and make it easier for you to lose weight.
Staying hydrated is crucial to our health, and the primary means of hydration should be water. Making water your beverage of choice can help control your blood sugar and insulin levels. Plus it means that you’re avoiding sugary drinks like sodas and juices.
Along with a healthy diet, getting enough exercise is essential. Do whatever you can to remain physically active. This doesn’t require you to join a gym and train for a marathon, although that would be great. According to multiple studies, a brisk, half-hour long walk daily can reduce your chances of developing type 2 diabetes by 30%. So even if the gym isn’t your thing, you still can decrease your risk by staying active.
Controlling your weight is a significant factor in preventing type 2 diabetes. Along with the previously mentioned exercise and dietary considerations, it’s essential to pay attention to portion size. Overeating is particularly a concern for those who are already overweight. Eating large quantities of food all at once has been shown to spike blood sugar and insulin level, which increases the risk of diabetes. Decreasing portion sizes can lower that risk. One study of individuals with prediabetes indicated “those who reduced food portion sizes and practiced other healthful nutrition behaviors had a 46% lower risk of developing diabetes” as opposed to others who made no changes to their lifestyle.
Taking control of your health and risk factors for chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes is important. While you can’t prevent yourself from aging, your actions now will affect your quality of life as you get older. The prevention methods provided here can help you decrease your risk of developing diabetes even if you’re prediabetic. A few lifestyle changes now can prove genuinely beneficial in the long run.