Contrary to popular belief, type 2 diabetes is largely preventable! Yes-Preventable! To date, more than 30 million adult Americans have diabetes. In addition to type 1 and type 2 diabetes, over 80 million Americans are affected by prediabetes. This is the time when lifestyle changes can help to prevent type 2 diabetes down the road. Even if you haven’t been diagnosed with any type, you may be wondering about precautions and how to prevent diabetes naturally.
Prevent Diabetes Naturally with Simple Steps
Move more! Participating in some type of moderate physical activity on most days of the week can help to manage body weight. This will also help to reduce blood glucose levels and possibly improve blood pressure. Exercise also helps to increase the insulin sensitivity of your cells which means less insulin is required to keep your blood sugar under control. Choose an activity you enjoy so you are more likely to participate in it regularly and will continue to do long term.
Maintain a Healthy Weight
Many people with type 2 diabetes (and prediabetes) are overweight or obese. The excess weight is often carried around a person’s midsection which impacts the function of the abdominal organs. This belly fat (or visceral fat) significantly increases one’s risk of diabetes. A recent study showed for every 2 pounds of weight lost participants reduced their diabetes risk by 16%.
Statistics show smokers are almost twice as likely to develop diabetes than non-smokers; even more so if you smoke more than 20 cigarettes per day. Quitting cigarette smoking has been shown to reduce the risk of developing diabetes over time. In some cases, after several years of not smoking the risk of developing diabetes has been shown to equal to that of a nonsmoker.
Healthy Diet Plans – Foods that Prevent Diabetes
A healthy balanced diet is very important in prevention of diabetes. Follow a low carb diet and reduce the amount of fat in your diet, especially saturated fats and trans fats. This would mean avoiding processed and fried and fast foods and eating more foods that are high in fiber. It is best to buy whole foods and cook meals yourself. Meal prep and planning will help to keep you on track by affording you more control over portion size and allowing you to select what foods are on your plate.
You have control over the lifestyle choices that contribute to diabetes. If you struggle maintaining a healthy weight and lifestyle, HealthBridge’s knowledgeable physicians and dietician in Great Neck, NY can help you discover your root causes of weight gain and provide guidance on your journey. Schedule an appointment today or visit our weight management program for more information.