Lifestyle changes can help prevent the onset of type 2 Diabetes or better known as Diabetes Mellitus. Prevention is especially important if one is currently at an increased risk of type 2 diabetes due to excess weight or a family history of diabetes.
Also, if an individual has been diagnosed with prediabetes — high blood sugar that doesn’t reach the threshold of a diabetes diagnosis — lifestyle changes can prevent or delay the onset of disease.
On this week’s posting, we share with you a few changes one can make to their lifestyle to avoid serious health complications of diabetes in the future, such as nerve, kidney and heart damage. It’s never too late to start.
1. Lose Extra Weight
- Carrying extra weight in the midsection and around the abdominal organ increases the risk of type 2 diabetes.
- Notably, losing even a small amount of weight may help lower risk of type 2 diabetes.
- A study in more than 1,000 people showed that exercise, diet, and weight loss interventions significantly reduced the risk of type 2 diabetes by 40-47%.
- Exercise improves blood glucose control and regulates body weight.
- It is recommended to do at least 150–300 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity; or at least 75–150 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity; or an equivalent combination of moderate- and vigorous-intensity activity throughout the week.
3. Reduce carbohydrate intake
- Foods containing carbohydrates become glucose when digested, and controlling blood sugar is important if you have diabetes.
- Healthy eating is a keystrategy to blood sugar control as well as timing, type and quantity of foods eaten.
- Do not skip meals. Try to eat a consistent amount of carbohydrates like rice in every meal.
- Eat a variety of foods from each food group for good nutrition.
4. Eat more high fibre diets
- Fiber aids in blood sugar management. This is because the body is unable to digest fibre hence it doesn’t cause a spike in blood sugar as compared to other carbs.
- Example of high fibre foods are whole grain foods, fruits, green leafy vegetables, legumes, nuts and seeds.
5. Reduce portion sizes
- Eating too much food at one time has been shown to cause a spike in blood sugar for those with diabetes.
- Eating portions according to the quarter quarter half rules may lead to reduced calorie intake which may in turn lower your risk of diabetes.
6. Drink more water
- Drinking 2 glasses of sugary beverages like soda and sweetened fruit juice have been linked to an increased risk of both type 2 diabetes by 20%.
- Sticking with water as your drink of choice will help you limit beverages that are high in sugar.
1. Harvard T.H. Chan. Simple Steps to Preventing Diabetes.