Nearly 29.1 million Americans have diabetes, a serious disease in which blood glucose (blood sugar) levels are above normal. Most people with diabetes have type 2, which used to be called adult-onset diabetes. But now more young people, even children, have the disease because many are overweight or obese. Diabetes can lead to problems such as heart disease, stroke, vision loss, kidney disease, and nerve damage. Diabetes prevention is proven, possible, and powerful!
How Can You Prevent Diabetes?
· Healthy lifestyle choices can help you prevent type 2 diabetes.
· Here are the 3 most powerful tips! 1) Diet, 2) Exercise, and 3) Weight Loss
o Eat healthy foods. Choose foods lower in fat and calories and higher in fiber.
§ Focus on fruits, vegetables and whole grains, beans and nuts.
§ Foods to avoid are those rich in trans fats (also called hydrogenated fat), saturated fat, and sugar.
o Get physical. Aim for a minimum of 30 minutes of moderate physical activity a day. Take a brisk daily walk. Ride a bike. Swim laps. If you can't fit in a long workout, spread 10-minute or longer sessions throughout the day.
§ Exercise can help you lose weight, lower your blood sugar, and boost your sensitivity to insulin — which helps keep your blood sugar within a normal range
§ Research shows that aerobic exercise and resistance training can help control diabetes
o Lose excess pounds. Studies show that people at high risk for diabetes can prevent or delay the onset of the disease by losing 5 to 7 percent of their weight If you're overweight, losing 7 percent of your body weight can reduce the risk of diabetes. That’s 10-14 pounds for a 200 pound person. In contrast, every kilogram (2.2 pounds) of weight lost reduces diabetes risk by 16 percent. To keep your weight in a healthy range, focus on permanent changes to your eating and exercise habits. Motivate yourself by remembering the benefits of losing weight, such as a healthier heart, more energy and improved self-esteem.
Here are a few extra simple tips to keep you healthy!
· Keep a food diary. Those who kept a daily log of food intake were more likely to lose the recommended amount of weight than those who did not.
· Drink water. Studies link sugar-sweetened beverages with obesity and diabetes. Cut them out of your diet and the risk of both conditions falls.
· Stress less. The stress response triggers the release of several hormones that increase blood sugar.
· Sleep well. Chronic sleep deprivation and poor quality sleep increase the risk for diabetes and obesity. Make sure you get 7-8 hours of sleep each night and keep a regular sleep schedule.
· Keep medical appointments. Your medical provider can regularly check for warning signs of diabetes.