Changing your lifestyle can be a big step in preventing diabetes - and it's never too early to start. Consider these tips.
Lifestyle changes can help prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes, the most common form of the disease. Prevention is especially important if you are currently at risk for type 2 diabetes due to being overweight or obese, high cholesterol, or a family history of diabetes. If you have been diagnosed with diabetes mellitus - a high level of sugar that does not reach the threshold for a diagnosis of diabetes - lifestyle changes can prevent or delay the onset of the disease.
Losing weight reduces the risk of diabetes. People in a large study reduced their risk of developing diabetes by nearly 60% when they lost about 7 percent of their body weight through changes in exercise and diet.
The American Diabetes Association recommends that people with diabetes lose at least 7-10% of their body weight to prevent the progression of the disease. Losing more weight will lead to greater gains.
Set a weight loss goal based on your current weight. Talk to your doctor about realistic short-term goals and expectations, such as losing 1 to 2 pounds per week.
The benefits of regular exercise are many. Exercise can help you:
- Losing weight
- Lower your blood sugar
- Increase the effect of insulin - which helps to maintain your blood sugar in any situation
Goals for many adults to promote weight loss and maintain health include:
- Aerobic exercise. Aim for 30 minutes or more of moderate to vigorous aerobic exercise — such as brisk walking, swimming, biking, or running — most days for a total of at least 150 minutes per week . Resistance exercise.
- Resistance exercises - at least 2-3 times a week - improve your strength, balance, and ability to stay active. Resistance training includes weight lifting, yoga, and calisthenics.
- There is not enough work. Taking long periods of inactivity, such as sitting in front of a computer, can help control blood sugar. Take a few minutes to stand up, walk, or do a little activity every 30 minutes.
Plants provide vitamins, minerals and carbohydrates in your diet. Carbohydrates include sugar and starch - your body's main source of energy - as well as fibre. Dietary fiber, also known as dietary fiber or macronutrients, is the part of plant food that your body cannot digest or absorb. Fiber-rich foods promote weight loss and reduce the risk of diabetes. Eat a variety of healthy, fiber-rich foods, including:
- Fruits, such as tomatoes, peppers, and fruits
- Non-starchy vegetables, such as collard greens, broccoli, and cauliflower
- Grains, such as beans, chickpeas, and lentils
- Whole grains, such as whole wheat pasta and bread, whole grain rice, corn, and quinoa.
- Reduce the absorption of sugar and reduce the level of sugar in the blood
- Contribute to the absorption of dietary fat and cholesterol
- Manage other risk factors for heart health, such as high blood pressure and inflammation
- Help you eat less because fiber-rich foods are packed with energy
Avoid foods that are "bad carbohydrates" - low-fiber or refined sugars: white bread and pastries, pasta made with white flour, fruit juices, and sugary foods high or refined corn syrup.
Foods that are high in fat and calories, should be eaten in moderation. To help you lose weight and manage your weight, your diet should include a variety of foods that contain unsaturated fats, which are called "good fats".
Unsaturated fats - both monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats - promote healthy blood cholesterol levels and good heart and muscle health. Sources of good fats include:
- Olive, sunflower, safflower, cotton and rapeseed oil
- Nuts and seeds, such as almonds, peanuts, flax seeds, and pumpkin seeds
- Fatty fish, such as salmon, mackerel, sardines, tuna, and cod
Saturated fat, "bad fat", is found in dairy products and meat. These should be a small part of your diet. You can reduce saturated fat by eating low-fat dairy products and chicken and pork.
Many fad diets, such as glycemic index, paleo, or keto diets, can help you lose weight. However, there is little research on the long-term benefits of these foods or their anti-diabetic benefits.
Your diet goal should be to lose weight and stay fitter in the future. Therefore, eating decisions should include strategies that you can maintain as a lifelong habit. Making good decisions that reflect some of your food preferences and traditions can pay off in the long run. A simple technique to help you make healthy food choices and eat healthy portions is to divide your plate. These three components on your plate promote healthy eating:
- Medium: non-starchy fruits and vegetables
- One quarter: whole fruit
- A quarter: protein-rich foods, such as beans, fish, or lean meat
The American Diabetes Association recommends regular screening and diagnostic testing for type 2 diabetes for all adults age 45 and older and for the following groups:
- People under the age of 45 who are overweight or obese and have one or more risk factors for diabetes
- Women with gestational diabetes
- People have been diagnosed with diabetes
- Children who are overweight or obese and have a family history of type 2 diabetes or other risk factors
Talk to your doctor about your concerns about diabetes prevention. He will appreciate your efforts to prevent diabetes and may make further recommendations based on your medical history or other factors.
For the best sugar control plans, click here to get started.
About the Creator
Mark Odule's greatest strengths lies in his ability to distill complex ideas into digestible prose without sacrificing depth. He possess the alchemical skill of turning information into knowledge and transforming knowledge into wisdom.