This week, we celebrate World Diabetes Day on November 14th and raise awareness of diabetes risks. Today we’re going to talk about Type 2 Diabetes (as opposed to type 1, the autoimmune disease).
Did you know that 1 in 3 American adults are at risk for developing Type 2 Diabetes? It’s a condition known as prediabetes, and the CDC reports that 80% of those with prediabetes have no idea that they have it. And it’s really just a numbers game… pre-diabetes indicates an elevated risk score that could very well be getting closer and closer to diabetic level.
Type 2 Diabetes is a chronic disease that can lead to a host of other health problems, including heart disease, stroke, blindness, kidney failure, and amputations. Diabetes may even cause a malfunction in your immune system. The good news is that there are things you can do to reduce your risks of developing diabetes. Today, we’ll outline seven tips to help reduce your diabetes risks.
7 Ways to Reduce Your Type 2 Diabetes Risks
1. Get active. Exercise is one of the most effective ways to prevent diabetes. Just 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity (like brisk walking) 5 days a week can help lower your risks. And when we say lower, we mean lowering your diabetes risks by a very significant amount.
“The National Institutes of Health conducted a breakthrough study to show that diet and exercise can delay diabetes,” reports John Muir Health. “The clinical trial proved that a half hour of walking or other low-intensity exercise daily, combined with a low-fat diet, reduced the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 58 percent.”
According to the health authority, regular exercise helps your cells maintain their sensitivity to insulin, which is important for helping your body to maintain healthy levels of blood sugar.
2. Eat healthy foods. A healthy diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains can help you maintain a healthy weight and lower your risks of diabetes. Avoid sugary drinks, simple carbohydrates, processed meats, and trans fats.
3. Quit smoking. If you smoke, quit. Smoking increases your risks of developing type 2 diabetes by up to 40%.
4. Lose weight if you need to. Being overweight or obese is a major risk factor for type 2 diabetes. Even losing just 7-10% of your body weight can significantly lower your risks.
5. Manage your blood pressure. High blood pressure contributes to your chances of developing type 2 diabetes. Work with your doctor to ensure that your blood pressure is under control through lifestyle changes and/or medication if necessary.
6. Check your cholesterol levels regularly. High cholesterol is another contributor to your risks of type 2 diabetes. Work with your doctor to ensure that your cholesterol levels are where they should be through lifestyle changes and/or medication if necessary.
7. Get tested for diabetes regularly – especially if you have any of the aforementioned risk factors for the disease. If you have any of the risk factors for type 2 diabetes, it’s important to get tested regularly. Talk to your doctor about how often you should be tested. In general, experts recommend that you get tested every three years if you have risk factors
Type 2 diabetes is a serious chronic disease that can lead to a host of other health problems. However, there are things you can do to lower your chances of developing diabetes. By following these seven tips, you can dramatically reduce your chances of developing type 2 diabetes.