Diabetes has already become a major epidemic of our time, and the number of diabetics will continue to increase over the next 20 years and beyond. Much is said and written about treating diabetes and living a healthy life with diabetes, but the prevention of diabetes must also be emphasized. The most disturbing aspect of this disease is that there is no way to know if you are destined to develop diabetes. Therefore, it is better to take appropriate measures in advance to keep diabetes at bay.
1. Have your blood sugar checked: Many people have prediabetes (fasting blood sugar: 100-125 mg/dl) and don’t know it. You can find out if you have prediabetes and your risk of developing diabetes with a blood glucose test. If you are diagnosed with prediabetes, you can take the right steps to prevent it from developing into irreversible diabetes. Here’s what you need to know about prediabetes.
2. Be physically active: The best way to stay healthy is to exercise. Not only will it help prevent diabetes, but it will also have a positive impact on your overall health and well-being. You will feel refreshed and energized.
3. Eat healthy: Eat a healthy diet that is low in calories, especially low in saturated fats. It has been proven that fat intake should not exceed 30% of total calorie intake, while saturated fats should be limited to only 10%. Eat more vegetables, fresh fruits, whole grains, dairy products and sources of omega-3 fatty acids. Also increase your fiber intake. Learn how fiber can help prevent diabetes here.
4. Eat wisely by limiting portions: How much and when you eat is just as important as what you eat. Reducing portion sizes and spreading meals out throughout the day will reduce the risk of obesity and diabetes. Irregular eating habits also lead to dramatic changes in blood sugar levels.
5. Change your lifestyle: sometimes small changes can make a big difference. Lifestyle intervention to prevent diabetes is the best example. Several studies on diabetes prevention program have shown that diabetes can be effectively prevented by giving up your sedentary lifestyle and adopting healthier habits. Read more about sedentary lifestyle and diabetes risk.
Overweight and obese people should put exercise at the top of their daily to-do list. Here’s a comprehensive guide to weight loss.Thirty minutes of exercise, either aerobic or simple activities like dancing, playing tennis or brisk walking, can reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes by 30%. If you find it difficult to exercise during the day, take a walk between your short breaks or after lunch at the office. This will regulate your blood sugar levels and reduce your risk of developing diabetes.
6. Stop smoking: If you smoke, you double your risk of developing diabetes. Even if you follow other healthy habits but continue to smoke, it is not good for you. You need to kick the habit, and only then can other changes have a full positive impact on your health. Here are some ways that can help you quit smoking.
7. Limit your alcohol consumption: People who drink a lot are more likely to gain weight. As obesity increases, so does your risk of diabetes. If you are prediabetic, alcohol causes your blood sugar levels to spike and you may soon become diabetic. Read more about how alcohol can ruin your weight loss goals.
8. Get regular checkups: There is no evidence that diabetes can be prevented in the long run. In addition, the risk of high blood pressure, heart disease and other health problems increases with age, and all of these factors are linked to diabetes in their own way. That’s why it’s best to get a full checkup, especially after the age of 45. Here’s a comprehensive guide to the tests you should have in order to live a healthy life.
- Stress management: The more stressed you are, the more prone you are to unhealthy habits. Studies show that stress hormones directly affect blood sugar levels and increase the risk of diabetes. To reduce your stress levels, meditate, do yoga, listen to music or do anything that makes you happy and stress-free.
- Adequate sleep; a minimum of 7-8 hours of good sleep per day is necessary. Adequate sleep keeps energy levels high throughout the day and also reduces cravings for high-calorie foods. If you want to get a good night’s sleep, try these foods.