Top 10 Tips to Prevent Type 2 Diabetes
Type 2 diabetes is a lifelong disease that affects millions of people worldwide. If you’re overweight or you have a family history of the disease or you have been diagnosed with prediabetes then you’re at increased risk of diabetes.
You can help reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes by following our top 10 tips and making a few simple changes in your lifestyle.
1. Cut Sugar and Refined Carbs From Your Diet
Consuming sugary foods and refined carbs can increase your risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Refined carbs or simple carbohydrates include sugars and refined grains that have been stripped of all bran, fiber and nutrients, such as pizza, pasta, white bread, pastries, white flour, white rice, sweet desserts and many breakfast cereals. When you eat sugary foods and refined carbs, your bloodstream is flooded with sugar which stimulates the pancreas to produce insulin, which is a hormone that helps sugar get out of the bloodstream and into the body’s cells.
All this insulin can leave you feeling hungry soon after a meal, often craving for more sugary foods. This can cause you to overeat and over time, this can lead to progressively higher blood sugar and insulin levels, until the condition eventually turns into Type 2 diabetes.
By Replacing sugar or refined carbs with complex carbohydrates you may help reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Complex, unrefined, or “good” carbs such as vegetables, whole grains like brown rice, oatmeal and naturally sweet fruit digest slower, resulting in stable blood sugar and less fat accumulation.
2. Exercise Regularly
Regular exercise can help prevent the development of diabetes in people who have been diagnosed with prediabetes. It is important, not only for managing type 2 diabetes but also for promoting your overall health. Exercise improves blood glucose control in type 2 diabetes, reduces cardiovascular risk factors, contributes to weight loss, and improves well-being.
The American Diabetes Association (ADA) encourages people to get at least 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous intensity aerobic activity per week.
Aerobic activity at moderate intensity basically means exercising at a level that raises your heart rate and makes you sweat.
Aerobic exercise can be achieved through Light jogging, running, swimming, dancing, tennis, basketball, and more. Strength training, sometimes called resistance training, focuses more on building or maintaining muscle and can be achieved through body weight exercises or weights.
These exercise types are all helpful in managing blood sugar and lipid levels and encouraging weight loss on their own.
3. Choose Foods with a Low Glycemic Index
Choosing low glycemic foods can curb blood sugar spikes and reduce your risk of developing diabetes. The glycemic index (GI) is a measurement system that ranks foods according to their effect on your blood sugar levels. Foods with a low GI value are slowly digested and absorbed, causing a slower and smaller rise in blood sugar levels.
On the other hand, foods with a high GI value are quickly digested and absorbed, resulting in a rapid rise and fall of blood sugar levels. The GI of a food or meal is influenced by a number of factors, including the type of sugar it contains, the structure of the starch, the cooking method, and the level of ripeness.
A number of studies suggest that low GI diets reduce blood sugar levels in people with diabetes. A 2019 review of 54 studies concluded that low GI diets reduced body weight and blood sugar levels in people with prediabetes or diabetes.
One study in over 205,000 people found that those with the highest GI diets had up to a 33% greater risk of developing type 2 diabetes than those who consumed the lowest GI diets.
4. Lose Weight If You’re Overweight
If you are overweight or obese and particularly if you have excess weight around your abdomen then you are at greater risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Losing your body weight, by even a small amount, can help improve your body’s insulin sensitivity and lower your risk of developing cardiovascular and metabolic conditions such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease and types of cancer.
According to studies by WHO, every kilogram of weight loss reduces the risk of diabetes risk by 16 per cent. Moving toward a healthy weight can be hard because it involves changing the way you eat and your physical activity. Losing weight also takes time, which can be frustrating. Most people find it easier to make healthy changes in a few small steps instead of all at once. Set realistic goals within a timeframe that works for you. Check your weight at least once a week and write it down, or consider how your clothes are fitting as a measure of weight loss.
5. Quit Alcohol Intake and Smoking
Excessive consumption of alcohol and smoking increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Too much drinking of alcohol may cause a chronic inflammation of the pancreas called pancreatitis. One of the consequences of pancreatitis is an impaired ability of the pancreas to secrete insulin, which can potentially lead to type-2 diabetes. Moreover, smoking not only increases the risk of diabetes, it is extremely risky when one has diabetes. The nicotine in tobacco is unhealthy for everyone, it can increase your insulin resistance, which means that your body needs more and more insulin to respond.
Nicotine can also increase your risk for other diabetes complications, including Heart and kidney disease, Poor blood flow in your legs and feet, Eye disease, Damaged nerves to the arms and legs that causes numbness, pain, weakness, and poor coordination. The best thing you can do for your health is to quit smoking and drinking too much alcohol.