Are you at risk for Type 2 diabetes?
For example, if you are overweight or have a family history of the disease you could be at risk.
Diabetes prevention is as basic as eating more healthfully, becoming more physically active and losing a few extra pounds. Making a few simple changes in your lifestyle now may help you avoid the serious health complications of diabetes later, such as nerve, kidney and heart damage.
Changing your lifestyle could be a big step toward diabetes prevention — and it’s never too late to start.
Consider these tips.
Tip 1: Get more physical activity
There are many benefits to regular physical activity. Exercise can help you:
- Lose weight
- Lower your blood sugar
- Boosts your sensitivity to insulin — which helps keep your blood sugar within a normal range
Research shows that both aerobic exercise and resistance training can help control diabetes, but the greatest benefit comes from a fitness program that includes both.
Tip 2: Go for whole grains
Whole grains may reduce your risk of diabetes and help maintain blood sugar levels. Try to make at least half your grains whole grains. Ready to eat whole grains include various breads, pasta products and many cereals. Look for the word “whole” or 100% whole grain on the package and among the first few items in the ingredient list.
Tip 3: Eat plenty of fiber
- Eating more foods with fiber reduces your risk of diabetes by improving your blood sugar control
- And lowers your risk of heart disease
- Fiber promotes weight loss by helping you feel full
Foods high in fiber include fruits, vegetables, beans, whole grains, nuts and seeds.
Tip 4: Lose extra weight
If you’re overweight, every pound you lose can improve your health. In one study, overweight adults reduced their diabetes risk by 16 percent for every kilogram (2.2 pounds) of weight lost. Also, those who lost a modest amount of weight — at least 5 to 10 percent of initial body weight — and exercised regularly reduced the risk of developing diabetes by almost 60 percent over three years.
Tip 5: Make healthier choices
Think of variety and portion control as part of an overall healthy-eating plan. If you’re older than age 45 and your weight is normal, ask your doctor if diabetes testing is appropriate for you.
The American Diabetes Association recommends blood glucose screening if:
- You’re age 45 or older and overweight
- You’re younger than age 45 and overweight with one or more additional risk factors for type 2 diabetes for example a sedentary lifestyle or a family history of diabetes.