Facts about Preventing Diabetes
Diabetes prevention is as basic as eating more healthfully, becoming more physically active and losing a few extra pounds — and it’s never too late to start. Making a few simple changes in your lifestyle now may help you avoid the serious health complications of diabetes down the road, such as nerve, kidney and heart damage. Consider the latest diabetes prevention tips from the American Diabetes Association.
When it comes to type 2 diabetes — the most common type of diabetes — prevention is a big deal. It’s especially important to make diabetes prevention a priority if you’re at increased risk of diabetes, as an example, if you’re overweight or have a family history of the disease.
The Diabetes Prevention Program
This program is a major federally funded study of 3,234 people at high risk for diabetes, showed that people can delay and possibly preventing Diabetes by losing weight (5 to 7 percent of total body weight) through healthier eating and at least 15 to 30 minutes of physical activity 5 days a week. Changing your lifestyle could be a big step toward diabetes prevention — and it’s never too late to start. Consider these tips.
Here are some of the more common risk factors that increase the likelihood of developing diabetes.
1. Being overweight or obese.
2. Having a parent, brother, or sister with diabetes.
3.Being African American, American Indian, Asian American, Pacific Islander, or Hispanic American/Latino heritage.
4.Having a prior history of gestational diabetes or birth of at least one baby weighing more than 9 pounds.
5.Having high blood pressure measuring 140/90 or higher.
6.Having abnormal cholesterol with HDL (“good”) cholesterol is 35 or lower, or triglyceride level is 250 or higher.
7.Being physically inactive—exercising fewer than three times a week.
Does body weight affect the likelihood
of developing diabetes?
Being overweight or obese is a leading risk factor for type 2 diabetes!
There are many benefits to regular physical activity. Exercise can help you:
-Lower your blood sugar
-Boosts your sensitivity to insulin — which helps keep your blood sugar within a normal range
Being overweight can keep your body from making and using insulin properly, and can also cause high blood pressure. 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.
What is prediabetes?
Doctors sometimes call this condition impaired fasting glucose(IFG) or impaired glucose tolerance (IGT)
People with blood glucose levels that are higher than normal but not yet in the diabetic range have “prediabetes.” Insulin resistance and prediabetes usually have no symptoms. You may have one or both conditions for several years without noticing anything. Progression to diabetes among those with prediabetes is not inevitable. Weight loss and increased physical activity among people with prediabetes may prevent or delay diabetes and may return blood glucose levels to normal. If you have prediabetes, you have a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes. People with prediabetes have a higher risk of heart disease.
- Get plenty of fiber – It may help you
-Reduce your risk of diabetes by improving your blood sugar
-Lower your risk of heart disease
-Promote weight loss by helping you feel full
-Foods high in fiber include fruits, vegetables, beans, whole grains, nuts and seeds.
- Lose extra weight
If you’re overweight, diabetes prevention may hinge on weight loss. Every pound you lose can improve your health. And you may be surprised by how much. 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.
- Make healthier choices and Skip fad diets
The glycemic index diet, low-carb diets, or other fad diets may help you lose weight at first, but their effectiveness at preventing diabetes isn’t known nor are their long-term effects. By excluding or strictly limiting a particular food group, you may be giving up essential nutrients. Think variety and portion control as part of an overall healthy-eating plan.
- Opt for whole grains
Look for the word “whole” on the package and among the first few items in the ingredient list. It’s not clear why, whole grains may reduce your risk of diabetes and help maintain blood sugar levels. Make at least half your grains whole grains. Many foods made from whole grains come ready to eat, including various breads, pasta products and many cereals.
When you should consult a physician
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 type2 diabetes
Share your concerns about diabetes prevention with your doctor. He or she will applaud your efforts to keep diabetes at bay, and perhaps offer additional suggestions based on your medical history or other factors.