How do you prevent type 2 diabetes?
May 08, 2019
Source: Medical News Today
According to the American Diabetes Association (ADA), over 9% of the population of the United States are living with diabetes. In 2015, the number of people living with prediabetes was over 84 million.
Since diabetes is a growing health concern, many people want to learn about ways to prevent it.
There are two types of diabetes: type 1 and type 2. It is not possible to prevent type 1 diabetes. However, there are several steps a person can take to significantly reduce their risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
In this article, learn which steps to take to help prevent type 2 diabetes from developing.
How to prevent type 2 diabetes
There are three ways a person can help prevent type 2 diabetes:
Maintaining a healthy weight
One of the most important steps a person can take to help prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes is to reach or maintain a healthy weight.
The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases suggest that if a person who is overweight loses about 5–7% of their body weight, they can lower their chances of developing type 2 diabetes.
According to the ADA, being overweight can increase a person’s risk of:
- type 2 diabetes
- heart disease
- high blood sugar
- high blood pressure
- harmful cholesterol levels
If a person who is overweight reduces their total weight by just 10–15 pounds, they may reduce their risk of developing these conditions significantly.
However, effectively controlling weight can be challenging. Results are often slow to come and require changes to physical activity as well as eating habits.
Some strategies a person can try to help reach and maintain a healthy weight include:
- joining a support group
- keeping a food journal
- eating smaller portions
- drinking plenty of water
- making a meal plan
- joining a gym, running club, or yoga class
- spending less time sitting during the day
- getting enough sleep
People who want to lose weight should consider talking to their doctor about safe and effective methods.
Eating a balanced diet
Maintaining a balanced diet can help reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. It is a crucial part of reaching and maintaining a healthy weight.
Eating a balanced diet does not mean simply cutting calories. Eating a balanced diet involves eating foods rich in vitamins, minerals, fiber, protein, and good fats.
It also means avoiding or cutting back on foods with added sugars and sodium.
Some of the best foods to include in a preventative diet include:
- green, leafy vegetables
- non-starchy vegetables
- fresh or frozen fruits
- lean proteins, such as fish and tofu
- nuts and seeds
- oatmeal and whole grains
Foods to avoid include:
- sugary beverages, including energy drinks, sodas, and juices
- processed meats, such as bacon
- packaged snacks
- sweets and desserts
It is a good idea to start with small steps and changes. For example, somebody who regularly drinks soda can try replacing it with sparkling water and lime. Another example is replacing white grains and pasta with whole-grain versions.
Also, try reducing meal sizes and drinking water a few minutes before eating meals. This can help reduce the amount of calories a person consumes at meal…
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