Diabetes affects millions worldwide. It’s a chronic disease that can lead to complications like heart disease, kidney failure, and blindness. The American Diabetes Association (ADA) states that of the millions diagnosed, 7.2 million go undiagnosed.
Causes for diabetes depends on the type. Type 1 diabetes is the result of a person’s immune system attacking insulin-producing cells in the pancreas. On the other hand, Type 2 diabetes happens when cells become resistant to insulin.
Family history may play a part in potential risk factors for both types. But, for Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, inactivity, and weight may increase the risk for this condition.
How to Prevent Diabetes
There may be nothing you can do about your family history. However, certain activities may decrease the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes:
1. Get Regular Exercise
Exercising regularly may improve insulin sensitivity. One study suggests that exercise can increase sensitivity by up to 85% on workout days.
2. Reduce Sugar and Carb Intake
Over tasking your system may also increase your risk for diabetes. Experts believe there’s a link between eating a lot of carbs and sugar and developing Type 2 diabetes. So try to reduce how much sugary foods and refined carbs you eat daily.
3. Lose Weight
If you’re overweight, you may be at risk of developing diabetes. Having too much visceral fat promotes inflammation and can lead to insulin resistance.
4. Drink a Lot of Water
Think about making water your primary beverage of choice. Sugary drinks like sodas and punch are linked to both Type 2 diabetes and a form of Type 1 diabetes called latent autoimmune diabetes of adults (LADA).
5. Try a Very Low-Carb Diet
Drastically reducing carbs in your diet may help reduce diabetes risk factors by increasing insulin sensitivity and lowering blood sugar.
6. Practice Portion Control
Avoid eating too much food at one time because it can cause blood sugar and insulin levels to spike – especially for people already at risk of diabetes. Even if you don’t follow a low-carb diet, you may want to consider your eating portions to prevent diabetes.
7. Eat a Lot of Fiber
Staying away from carbs and sugar is a good idea for diabetes prevention. But eating a lot of fiber can also help. It helps to keep blood sugar and insulin levels low. And it may also help with weight management and gut health.
8. Stop Smoking
Diabetes is one of many serious health conditions smokers are at high risk for. One study revealed that on average, smoking increased diabetic risk factor 44% and the figure rises to 61% for heavy smokers.
9. Keep Active
Sedentary behaviors can increase the risk of diabetes. Try to stand up and walk around every hour. It can help lower your risk of diabetes.
10. Drink That Cup of Joe
Experts believe that drinking at least 3 cups of coffee or tea a day can help reduce the risk of diabetes. This shouldn’t take the place of water. However, incorporating them into your day can’t hurt.
There are many ways to prevent diabetes. And many of them are simple lifestyle changes that you may incorporate in your life already. If you were wondering how to prevent diabetes, the answer may be simply to live healthier.