When it comes to type 2 diabetes — the most common type of diabetes — prevention is very important. It’s especially important to make diabetes prevention a priority if you have an increased risk for diabetes – such as being overweight, having family history of the disease, or you have been diagnosed with prediabetes.
It’s never too late to start the steps for prevention. Making a few simple changes now may help you avoid the serious health complications in the future. Consider incorporating these diabetes prevention tips from the American Diabetes Association into your lifestyle.
Get more physical activity
There are many benefits to regular physical activity. Exercise can help you:
- Lose weight
- Lower your blood sugar
- Boost your sensitivity to insulin — which helps keep blood sugar within a normal range
Research shows that aerobic exercise and resistance training can help control diabetes. The greatest benefit comes from a fitness program that includes both.
Get plenty of fiber
Fiber may help you:
- Reduce your risk of diabetes by improving your blood sugar control
- Lower your risk of heart disease
- Promote weight loss by helping you feel full
Foods high in fiber include fruits, vegetables, beans, whole grains and nuts.
Go for whole grains
It’s not clear why, but whole grains may reduce your risk of diabetes and help maintain blood sugar levels. Try to make at least half your grains whole grains.
Many foods made from whole grains come ready to eat, including various breads, pasta products and cereals. Look for the word “whole” on the package and among the first few items in the ingredient list.
Lose extra weight
If you are overweight, diabetes prevention may hinge on weight loss. Every pound you lose can improve your health, and you may be surprised by how much. Studies have shown that people who lost a modest amount of weight — around 7 percent of initial body weight — and exercised regularly, reduced the risk of developing diabetes by almost 60 percent.
Skip fad diets and just make healthier choices
Low-carb diets, the glycemic index diet or other fad diets may help you lose weight at first. But their effectiveness at preventing diabetes and their long-term effects aren’t known. And by excluding or strictly limiting a particular food group, you may be giving up essential nutrients, which could lead to cravings and overeating. Instead, make variety and portion control part of your healthy-eating plan.
See and talk your doctor
The American Diabetes Association recommends blood glucose screening if:
- You’re 45 years old or older
- You’re an overweight adult of any age, with one or more additional risk factors for diabetes, such as a family history of diabetes, a personal history of prediabetes or an inactive lifestyle
After age 45, your doctor will likely recommend screening every three years.
Share your concerns about diabetes prevention with your doctor. He or she will appreciate your efforts to prevent diabetes and may offer additional suggestions based on your medical history or other factors. If you Have questions about diabetes, our caring providers can help. To make an appointment at GVHC, call or text 866.682.4842 today
*Article adapted from Mayo Clinic