As the leading cause of kidney failure, lower-limb amputation, and blindness in developed countries, as well as increasing the likelihood of death from heart disease, type 2 diabetes is now regarded as a serious health problem. Type 2 diabetes occurs when the body can’t make enough insulin or can’t properly use the insulin it makes. One suffers from Type 2 diabetes when the pancreas continues to produce insulin, or even higher levels of insulin, but the body develops a resistance to the insulin, causing scarcity of insulin in the body when it required for most of the body functions. While this type of diabetes can occur in children and adolescents, it usually begins in people over 30 and becomes more common as people age.
There are several key risk factors that increase your chance of developing diabetes. Some of the key factors include are obesity, women who are older than age 45, having someone in the family who suffer from Type 2 diabetes, suffering from heart disease or high cholesterol, a low birth weight and so on. Some of the health complications that arise with diabetes are lowered blood supply to the skin and nerves, clogged blood vessels, heart failure, strokes, leg cramps when walking, permanently poor vision, kidney failure, nerve damage, skin infections, heart pain and so on.
If you discover that you have any risk factors for diabetes, then it is time to make lifestyle changes to reverse the condition and avoid a diabetes diagnosis.
Here are 14 simple steps to prevent diabetes.
1. Regular physical activity
According to various research works it has been found that people who exercise for about half an hour daily have a lower risk of developing diabetes as compared to those who do not. This is mainly because intense physical exercise helps to maintain body weight, controls the cholesterol level, maintains blood pressure, regulates insulin production and boosts your sensitivity to insulin. There are different ways that you can choose to be more active each day. For instance you can enjoy at least half an hour of brisk walking every day. Other options include bike riding, swimming, dancing, taking your pet for a walk every evening in the park, doing aerobic exercises, taking staircase instead of lifts and so on.
2. Lose extra body weight
Excess body weight is the single most important cause of type 2 diabetes. Being overweight increases the chances of developing type 2 diabetes seven fold as compared to those who have a healthy body weight. Losing extra body weight has a dramatic effect on the metabolic factors which can help to control the blood sugar level, insulin resistance and blood lipids. So, those who are overweight must work towards losing the extra body weight in order to prevent diabetes. You can easily lose weight by following a strict diet chart and by indulging in a regular physical exercise routine.
3. Eat more fiber foods
Enriching your diet plan with high-fiber foods is also one of the best ways to reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Fiber has been shown to lower blood sugar by acting as a “mop” slowing down the digestive process and the speed with which glucose enters the bloodstream. Fiber foods will also help to lower down the risk of various heart diseases and promote weight loss by helping you feel full. While shopping for grocery, look out for terms like ‘high fiber’. Some of the food items that are high in fiber content include fruits, vegetables, beans, whole grains, nuts and seeds. In order to enjoy the health benefits of fiber enriched foods you must avoid or reduce the consumption of foods that have refined flours considerably.
4. Opt for whole grains
Whole grains rich in essential vitamins, minerals, and photochemical also help a lot to reduce the risk of developing type 2 Diabetes and help a lot to maintain blood sugar levels. According to a research work, people who enjoy two to three servings of whole grains a day are less likely to have developed type 2 diabetes than those who rarely ate whole grains. Try to include breads, pasta products, brown rice, oats and cereals made of whole grains in your diet plan. You can also keep whole grain crackers as a healthy snack items that you can east between meals.
5. Eat breakfast every day
In case you wish to reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, then you must never skip your breakfast. In one study it has been found that, people who ate breakfast were 35 to 50 per cent less likely to be overweight or have insulin resistance than those who skip breakfast. An overnight fast puts your body into ‘starvation mode’. So, after waking up in the morning, try to eating something within two or three hours. This will help to control appetite and caloric intake for the rest of the day, which helps prevent weight gain. When it comes to healthy breakfast, try to eat whole grain cereals, fresh fruit, fresh vegetable juice, and skim milk and so on.
6. Enjoy sleep
Sleeping less than six hours a night is also associated with increased risk of developing diabetes in coming years. This is because when you do not sleep enough it affects the appetite-regulating hormones and you crave for sugary and salty foods. Consumption of unhealthy foods will increase your body weight. Lack of sleep also causes spikes in the hormone cortisol, which raises insulin levels and causes blood sugar imbalances. In order to prevent diabetes, try to get 6 or more hours of sleep. In order to sleep, take calcium with magnesium and vitamin D3 and B-vitamins, omega3, omega3-6-9 which all works together, causing much improved relaxation and many other healthful benefits. You can also eat a small serving of protein food for dinner to enjoy better sleep during the night.
7. Say no to smoking
Smoking raises your chance of developing diabetes by 40 percent. Smokers are roughly 50 percent more likely to develop diabetes than nonsmokers, and heavy smokers have an even higher risk. Also smoking is linked with various other health complications. This has been proved by various research works. So, by saying no to smoking you can dramatically lower that risk of developing diabetes and other health complications. According to a study presented at the American Diabetes Association conference held in Philadelphia, smokers who quit reduced their risk of developing diabetes to that of nonsmokers within 10 years.
8. Give up sugary drinks
Sugary drinks contain high amount of glycemic which is associated with increased risk of diabetes. In fact those who drank one or more sugary drinks per day had an 83 percent higher risk of type 2 diabetes, compared to those who drank less than one sugary drink per month. Instead, you can quench your thirst by drinking plain water, soda water, unsweetened tea or skim milk instead of soft drinks, fruit juice drinks, coffee or sweetened iced-tea drinks. This is a great way to reduce the amount of fat and calories you intake daily.
9. Avoid red and processed meat
People who regularly eat red meat have a greater chance of developing type 2 diabetes as compared to those who rarely or never eat red meat. Red meat contains high iron content and high cholesterol that diminishes insulin’s effectiveness or damages the cells that produce insulin. Along with red meat also consumption of processed meat like salami, bacon, sausage, nuggets, ham and meat balls increases your diabetes risk. So skip the steak, bologna, and ham. For good protein you can eat nuts, seeds, beans, tofu, or poultry.
10. Choose good fats instead of bad fats
The types of fats you include in your diet can also affect the development of diabetes. Good fats, such as the polyunsaturated fats found in liquid vegetable oils, oily fishes, nuts, and seeds can help to lower down the risk of developing type 2 diabetes as well as prevent heart diseases. On the other hand, trans fats increase the risk of diabetes. Trans fat are regarded as bad fats that are found in many margarines, packaged baked goods, fried foods in most fast-food restaurants, and any food product that lists “partially hydrogenated vegetable oil” on the label.
11. Eat less fast food
A daily helping of fast food items have also been linked to diabetes. Fast foods contain saturated and trans fats, refined carbohydrates, excess sugar and salt which are not good for the health. In fact, in a study it has been found that those who ate fast food more than twice a week developed twice the rate of insulin resistance and gained more weight as compared to those who ate fast food less than once a week. To avoid the urge to have fast foods, keep nuts or fruits handy. This way you will have something to eat whenever you feel hungry and you do not have to visit fast food joints.
12. Eat good carbohydrates
It is a well known fact that high carbohydrate intake is contraindicated for people who are at a higher risk of developing diabetes. High carbohydrate increases the rates of insulin resistance. So, try to skip the pastries, cakes, fries, and other processed carbohydrates if you wish to prevent diabetes in the coming years. Instead try to consume carbohydrates that are healthy which are available in fruits, vegetables, whole grain cereals and breads.
13. Cinnamon powder
Scientists believe that compounds present in cinnamon powder can activate the enzyme that stimulates insulin receptors. Cinnamon also helps in lowering cholesterol, triglycerides, and fats present in the blood, thus lowering the risk of developing diabetes. To lower the risk of diabetes, add three tablespoon of cinnamon powder to four glasses of boiling water, allow it to simmer for half an hour in low flame, and then strain the mixture. Drink this mixture daily on an empty stomach to prevent diabetes. Along with cinnamon there are many natural products that can prevent diabetes. To know more about such natural products, check www.top10homeremedies.com.
14. Stress management
Stress is a major contributor of high blood sugar levels apart from raising your heart beat and respiratory rates preparing your body for the fight-or-flight mode. It is important to make your body relaxed throughout the day irrespective of what type of lifestyle you have. Whenever you are in stressed, try some stress management techniques like yoga or meditation in order to relax your life. Just practice deep breathing techniques whenever you find yourself a little stressed.
It is especially important to make diabetes prevention a priority if you are at increased risk of diabetes. By following the above mentioned tips you can easily reduce the risk of developing diabetes and also avoid serious health complications of diabetes down the road, such as nerve, kidney and heart damage. At the same time anyone who is above 45 years of age, and youngsters who have a family history of diabetes, should have once in 2 years blood sugar levels tested.