Take control of your health by following these simple tips.
Web-Exclusive: Learn more about diabetes prevention, including foods to eat and how to assess your risk
Here’s a staggering fact: More than 92% of type 2 diabetes cases could have been prevented through diet and lifestyle. That’s right. You have the power to prevent diabetes. The good news is, even if you’ve been diagnosed with the disease, you can control it. As a bonus, many of the same healthy practices that help prevent and manage diabetes can also reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke.
If you exercise for 30 minutes a day and reduce your caloric intake by 10%, you’re going to lose weight,” says John Corbett, PhD, director of the UAB Comprehensive Diabetes Center. Losing 7% to 10% of your current weight actually halves your type 2 diabetes risk.
Insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes occur most in those bigger around the middle. Reduce belly fat by limiting alcohol to no more than two drinks a day and eating less white bread and refined pasta. Pair moves that strengthen lower abdominal muscles, such as reverse crunches and pelvis lifts, with your daily aerobics routine.
Snoozing fewer than seven hours raises prediabetic factors 45% by damaging the body’s ability to use up glucose. Too much insulin in the body is a risk factor for type 2 diabetes. Sleep deprivation also raises your levels of the hormone ghrelin, which increases your appetite. Furthermore, being tired tempts you to eat sugar and carbs for a temporary energy boost.
In a study, women who drank one or more sugar-sweetened drinks a day raised their type 2 risk 83% compared with those who drank fewer than one a month. Solution: Try drinks without added sweeteners, such as 100% fruit juice. Or “grab water instead of a sports drink,” says Dr. Corbett.