Type 2 diabetes, if it were an infectious disease that could be spread from one person to another, public health officials would declare we’re experiencing an epidemic. This hardy illness is striking a growing number of adults and has become increasingly prevalent in adolescents, particularly among some ethnic groups. The good news is that prediabetes and type 2 diabetes are primarily curable.

To prevent the majority of diseases in the U.S., you have to live a healthier lifestyle, which can lower your risk of developing heart disease and cancer. The solution is quite simple: maintain a healthy weight and stay active.

What if I Have Diabetes?

If you have diabetes, there are also specific guidelines for preventing or lowering your risk of type 2 diabetes: a healthy weight, a nutritious carbohydrate-controlled diet, and regular exercise all aid blood glucose control. If you’re using insulin therapy, you may need to eat fewer carbohydrates at a meal or snack to keep your blood glucose levels in range.

You might need to take extra precautions with your diet when exercising, such as bringing a snack in case your blood sugar gets too low. Refer to your diabetes care team for more specific guidance on managing your type of diabetes in different situations.

How to Reduce Your Risk in a Few Simple Steps

Control your weight

Excess weight is the most significant reason for type 2 diabetes. Being overweight raises your chance of getting diabetes sevenfold. Obesity makes you 20 to 40 times more likely to get diabetes than someone who maintains a healthy weight. If you’re overweight, reducing weight may aid in preventing type 2 diabetes. If your weight is outside of the healthy range, then losing 7-10% of your current weight can cut your rate of developing diabetes by half.

Increased Physical Activity

Inactivity promotes type 2 diabetes. Working your muscles more often and forcing them to work harder improves their capacity to utilize insulin and absorb glucose. This reduces the amount of strain on your insulin-producing cells. So, trade some of your sitting time for physical activity.

You don’t have to do hot, sweaty exercise for long to gain this benefit. The Nurses’ Health Study and the Health Professionals Follow-up Research showed that walking fast for 30 minutes daily reduces the chance of developing type 2 diabetes by 30%. More recently, The Black Women’s Health Study uncovered that briskly walking for more than 5 hours per week had comparable diabetes prevention advantages. This level of activity also has numerous other health benefits. Even more considerable cardiovascular and other benefits can be achieved through increased exercise.

Change Your Diet

Type 2 diabetes is preventable through changes in diet. Some of these changes you could make include:

Incorporate whole grains and whole grain products into your diet.

A great deal of evidence suggests that diets with plenty of whole grains are associated with a reduced risk of diabetes, while those high in refined carbs tend to lead to an increased risk. For example, Nurses’ Health Studies I and II examined the grain consumption habits of over 160,000 women whose health and diet were monitored for up to 18 years.

According to a new study, women who eat 2-3 servings of whole grains daily are 30% less likely to develop type 2 diabetes. The researchers found that eating an extra two servings of whole grains per day decreased the risk of type 2 diabetes by 21%.

Avoid Sugary Drinks.

According to the Nurses’ Health Study II, women who drank one or more sugar-sweetened beverages per day had an 83% higher risk of type 2 diabetes than women who drank less than one sugar-sweetened beverage per month.

Choose Healthy Fats.

Different types of fats can have opposite effects on your health, for instance, trans fats. Trans fat is found in many common foods such as margarine, fried food from fast-food restaurants, and any product with “partially hydrogenated vegetable oil” listed in the ingredients. Because trans-fat raises your LDL cholesterol levels (the “bad” cholesterol) and increases inflammation throughout your body, overeating can increase your risk of developing heart disease and type 2 diabetes. 

Even though there is a lot of evidence that marine omega 3 fats help prevent heart disease, eating polyunsaturated fats from fish, also known as “long chain omega 3” or “marine omega 3,” does not protect you against diabetes. Even if you have diabetes, consuming fish may benefit your heart health.

Diabetes is mostly preventable. Mr. James Edward is a diabetes researcher finding new ways to help people reduce their risk of developing type 2 diabetes and its complications. If you are at high risk for diabetes, you can take a few simple steps to reduce your chances of getting the disease. These include losing weight, being physically active, and eating healthy foods. For more information on how to prevent type 2 diabetes, visit our website or talk to your doctor.

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