Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes – about 9 of 10 people with diabetes have type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes can occur at any age, but is more common in older people, mainly on those who are overweight. Certain ethnic groups also tend to be more prone to developing type 2 diabetes, including people of African American, Latinos, Asian Americans and Pacific Islander.
Type 2 diabetes occurs due to insulin resistance, a condition in which the body’s cells do not respond correctly to insulin. As a result, blood sugar does not get into the cells to be used for energy. When blood sugar cannot enter the cells, it stays in the bloodstream and cause builds up of sugar in the blood.
This high blood sugar can cause many complications such as blindness, heart disease, kidney problems, nerve damage, and erectile dysfunction. Fortunately, by making small changes in your lifestyle, you can greatly reduce your risk of getting these complications. Here are some ways that you can take to prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes and keep your body healthy.
- Be physical active
Physical active is one of the most effective ways to prevent type 2 diabetes. It can improves your body’s sensitivity to insulin, thus keep the blood glucose levels stable. Physical activity also benefits your health by strengthening the cardiovascular system. Aim for 30 minutes of physical activity five times a week. A study found that even brisk walking for 30 minutes a day can reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes by 30%.
- Maintain a healthy weight
Since overweight is the biggest risk factor for Type 2 diabetes, maintain a healthy weight is an important part of the prevention of type 2 diabetes. The key to maintain a healthy weight is by balancing the amount of calories you eat and drink with the amount you burn through regular physical activity. If you are overweight, losing 5-10 percent of your current body weight can cut your chance of developing type 2 diabetes by 50%.
- Choose whole grain over high carb foods
Research shows that a diet rich in whole grains such as brown rice, quinoa, and oatmeal can reduce a person’s risk for type 2 diabetes, while diet rich in refined carb lead to increased risk. Many foods made from whole grains are good when it comes to diabetes prevention, because they slow the carb absorption. These include various breads, cereals and pasta products – but not the sugary kind.
- Reduce the intake of sugar
You can also significantly reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes by paying particular attention to the amount of the sugar in your diet. Most sweets contain a large amount of carbohydrate in a very small serving. So you need to be sure to have a small serving.
- Avoid red meats and processed meats
Red meats and processed meats are high in cholesterol which can put you at higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes. A study conducted at Brigham and Women’s Hospital found that women who ate red meats every day at 29% higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes compared to women who ate less than once a week. Similarly, eating processed meats, such as ham and hot dogs increased the risk by 43%.
- Eat more fruits and vegetables
A diet rich in fruits and vegetables as part of an overall healthful diet may also reduce the risk for developing type 2 diabetes. Research studies conducted in adults generally indicate that higher intakes of fruits and vegetables are associated with a lower prevalence of diabetes. Scientists believe the beneficial effects of fruits and vegetables on lowering diabetes risk is because they are rich in fiber which can help slow the body’s response to glucose.
- Don’t smoke
Smoking can pose many health problems include the risk of type 2 diabetes. If you don’t smoke, don’t ever to try and if you do smoke, try to quit it now. The sooner you quit, the better it for you.
Read also: 9 tips to help you quit smoking
- Limit alcohol intake
Alcoholic drinks such as beer and wine contain carbs that may raise your blood sugar levels. If you do drink alcohol, limit it to no more than one glass per day for women and two glasses per day for men.
- Reduce stress
Stress is a major contributor of high blood sugar levels. Have your body relax throughout the day irrespective of what activities you are involved in. Practice stress management techniques like yoga or meditation every time you find yourself a bit of stress. When this becomes a way of life, you can prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes.