The most common type of diabetes is Type 2 and there are steps that you can take to prevent it. These steps mainly represent lifestyle changes which will benefit you and your family in many ways. Follow these 5 tips on how to prevent diabetes and enjoy the benefits almost immediately.
Be more active
People are generally much less active than their parents and grandparents. The sedentary lifestyle enjoyed by so many has lead to heart disease, cancer and diabetes. The human body was designed for movement and regular physical activity is necessary for good health and wellness.
Regular, moderate exercise on most days of the week helps to maintain a healthy weight, lowers high blood pressure, strengthens the immune system, balances blood sugar levels and lowers blood sugar, reduces stress, helps maintain healthy heart and lungs and makes you feel great by producing the feel-good hormone, endorphin.
The best results for preventing diabetes have been shown to be a combination of aerobic exercise and resistance or strength training. You can join a gym or take a class; enjoy regular walks, swims or bike rides; mow the lawn or weed the garden. Any activity that gets your heart rate up and makes you sweat a little is great, as long as it is done regularly and for 15 to 30 minutes.
Lose that excess weight
For over-weight people, preventing diabetes might simply involve losing those excess pounds. One scientific study showed how overweight participants lowered their risk of diabetes by 16% for every pound of weight they lost. The results were even more positive when the weight loss was accompanied by regular exercise.
Avoid fad diets and promises of fast weight loss. The most effective way to lose excess weight, and then maintain a healthy weight range, is to change your diet and improve your nutrition. Cook your own meals at home and avoid fast food and highly-processed foods. Drink water or green tea and avoid sodas, even the diet varieties; limit your coffee and alcohol consumption.
Your meals and snacks should always include fresh fruit and vegetables with a small amount of lean protein. The bulk of what you eat should be plant foods, eaten raw or just lightly steamed. Include nuts, seeds and legumes to make sure you get those good fats your body needs. Eat wholegrains instead of processed ‘white’ foods. Low fat dairy foods are great for weight loss, so enjoy yogurt or friut smoothies for snacks.
The importance of fiber
Dietary fiber aids digestion, keeps the digestive tract clean and helps to control blood sugar levels. A diet high in fiber helps to prevent heart disease and aids weight loss by making you feel fuller for longer.
Find the best dietary fiber in vegetables, fruit, whole grains, beans and other legumes, seeds and nuts. Include fiber-rich foods in every meal and snack.
Research has shown that eating whole grains helps to lower blood sugar levels and to maintain them in the normal range. While scientists don’t fully understand why this is so, it is an important tip when considering how to prevent diabetes. Grains are found in bread, pasta, flour and cereals. If these products have been highly processed, the grain has lost most of its nutrition. Check food labels and look for those that contain whole grains like wheat, rye, oats and rice.
Be aware of the risk factors
Talk to your doctor about the risk factors associated with diabetes to find out how likely you are to be affected. Seek advice about whether you need to be screened for diabetes and what other measures you can take to help prevent diabetes.
By following these 5 tips on how to prevent diabetes, you are putting yourself in a good position to avoid the condition. By making these simple lifestyle changes, you will also enjoy the additional benefits that come with a healthy diet, sufficient exercise and maintaining a healthy weight.