10. Optimize Vitamin D Levels
One of the best ways to prevent type 2 diabetes is to optimize the vitamin D levels in the body. Studies show that maintaining adequate levels of Vitamin D helps in blood sugar management, which subsequently aids patients with prediabetic orientations. Thus, doctors are now suggesting patients increase their intake of vitamin D to prevent type 2 diabetes. Vitamin D intake can be carried out not only through food sources, like fatty fish and cod liver oil, but also via sun exposure and supplements prescribed by a doctor.
9. Increase Water Intake
To prevent type 2 diabetes, it is advisable to substitute sugary and sweetened drinks with water. One study conducted by the National Institutes of Health found that consumption of one serving of a sugary drink may increase the chances of developing type 2 diabetes by 18%. On the other hand, water intake helps with blood sugar management and maintaining insulin levels. A recent study by the CDC showed that overweight people who followed a comprehensive diet plan and replaced sweetened drinks with water experienced decreased levels of insulin resistance and fasting blood sugar.
8. Quit Smoking
Smoking can not only contribute to diseases like heart disease or lung cancer, but is also linked as a precursor to type 2 diabetes. People who smoke have a higher chance of experiencing insulin resistance. In fact, people who smoke more are increasingly prone to type 2 diabetes, as compared to those who smoke less. In a study conducted by Harvard, it was found that the risk of diabetes in smokers decreases over time after they quit smoking.
7. Reduce Sedentary Behaviour
Reducing sedentary behavior can significantly reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes. One study suggests that those who have 10 hours of sedentary time per day are twice as likely to develop type 2 diabetes, as compared to those who have a nominal 8.3 hours of sedentary time. Sedentary behavior can be changed with minor adjustments, like standing up for a while or taking short walks. According to Harvard, it is important to set achievable goals in order to cut sedentary behavior.
6. Reduce Alcohol Consumption
Alcohol consumption is often linked with a high risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Alcoholic drinks contain exorbitantly large amounts of calories, which can not only lead to obesity but eventually lead to diabetes as well. Additionally, heavy drinking may also increase insulin resistance, which exacerbates chances of developing late onset diabetes. Thus, many studies suggest that reducing alcohol consumption can reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes to a great extent. Reducing alcohol consumption ranks number 6 on our list of the 10 Best Ways to Prevent Type 2 Diabetes.
5. Follow a High Fiber Diet
Including fiber in one’s diet can aid with intestinal health, weight management and can in turn help prevent diabetes. People with prediabetic conditions or women with obesity tend to experience increased levels of insulin by adding fiber in their diet. Soluble fiber, which absorbs water, forms a gel in one’s digestive system and slows down food absorption, all the while maintaining blood sugar and insulin levels. Many studies suggest intake of fiber through fiber supplements; however, food rich in fiber may also help.
4. Reduce Total Carb Intake
Carbohydrate intake causes sugar molecules to be absorbed in one’s bloodstream. To maintain high levels of blood sugar, the pancreas secrete insulin. Having high levels of blood sugar and insulin consistently can eventually turn into diabetes. To prevent this, one should include carbs that are high in fiber in one’s diet, including fish, whole fruit, mushrooms, etc. Examples of foods and drinks that are high in added sugars include soda, candy, and other forms of dessert.
3. Regular Exercise
Engaging in regular exercise has been linked with preventing type 2 diabetes. Exercise increases insulin resistance, which means that your body needs less insulin in order to maintain regular blood sugar levels. Exercises, like aerobic exercises and strength training, have been associated with reducing the risk of late onset diabetes. One study showed that high intensity interval training helped in maintaining blood sugar levels.
2. Minimize Intake of Highly Processed Foods
Foods that are highly processed, including chips, pizza, and candies, include added sugars, unhealthy fats, and preservatives, which simply increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. To prevent diabetes, one should cut back on these products and instead intake foods that do not go through high levels of processing, like yogurt or frozen vegetables. One study showed that people whose diet included highly processed food were 30% more likely to develop type 2 diabetes.
1. Lose Excess Weight
Having excess weight around one’s abdominal area increases the chance of developing type 2 diabetes, since excess weight is associated with insulin resistance. Losing weight by even 5% to 7% can have drastic effects on one’s overall health and can also substantially reduce the risk of late onset diabetes. People who used to be at a high risk of developing type 2 diabetes were able to reduce the risk by a staggering 40% to 47% by adopting a healthier lifestyle through consistent exercise and diet.
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