Top 5 Ways to Help Prevent Type 2 Diabetes
November 23, 2019
Type 2 diabetes is a chronic condition that affects how the body turns food into energy. Food is broken down into sugar or glucose. Then the pancreas releases insulin to help glucose reach our cells to be used for energy. In type 2 diabetes, the body doesn’t make enough insulin or cannot use it well. So too much glucose stays in the bloodstream which over time can cause serious health problems.
Here are small changes you can make to help prevent type 2 diabetes.
- Weight Loss: Being overweight increases your risk for type 2 diabetes. Losing a little weight – 10-15 pounds – can make a big difference. Eat breakfast, reduce portions and add more lean proteins, fruits, veggies and whole grains to your plate. You may be surprised by how tasty healthy eating can be.
- Be Active: Daily physical activity can help your body use insulin more effectively. Start slowly and increase your activity as your health allows. Walking is a great place to start. Move more and daily activity will soon become a habit. Work your way up to 2.5 hours of heart-pumping physical activity per week.
- Connect with others: Look for people in your life who can support you in leading a healthy lifestyle. Your spouse, family and friends can join you in walks, bike rides, swimming and fitness classes. Plan your weekly menu of healthy meals and snacks with your spouse and family. It’s easier to make healthy choices together.
- Crack down on sugar: It’s easy to grab a cookie or soda in the afternoon. Instead seek foods that fuel. Try to swap cookies and candy for nuts, fruits, veggies or cheese. Trade sweetened beverages like soda, coffee drinks and even sports drinks for water or flavored sparkling water. Enjoy sweet drinks and baked goods for an occasional treat.
- Know your diabetes risk: The more you know, the more power you have to get and stay healthy. You can estimate your personal risk of developing diabetes, learn about risk factors and how to improve them.