10 Tips To Prevent Type 2 Diabetes

By:    Published: October 7, 2012

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Diabetes is a medical condition characterized by a high level of sugar (glucose) in the blood. If not properly controlled, diabetes can lead to serious medical issues and various health problems. There are different types of diabetes; type 2 diabetes is the most commonly diagnosed form of diabetes. Several factors can increase your risk for developing type 2 diabetes, many of which can be controlled. Here are some simple tips that can be used as a foundation to help prevent type 2 Diabetes.

Exercise

Engaging in regular exercise can lower your risk for type 2 Diabetes. Doctors recommend at least 2 to 3 hours of physical activity per week. Studies show that exercise can help to control type 2 Diabetes. Even if you have an underlying health condition, talk to your doctor to determine which exercises will work best for your physical ability. Regular physical activity can help you to:

  • Lose weight
  • Decrease levels of blood sugar
  • Keep your blood sugar within the normal range

Fill Up On Fiber

Although fiber is a carbohydrate, it is considered a healthy carbohydrate, making it a healthy addition to a diabetic diet because it will not cause a spike in blood sugar. Healthy, high fiber foods include beans, whole grains, vegetables, fruits and nuts. Eating a fiber-rich diet helps to prevent type 2 Diabetes because it can:

  • Help to control blood sugar
  • Decrease your risk for heart disease
  • Boost weight loss due to your body feeling fuller for longer

[Related: 10 Must-Have Foods For Your High Fiber Diet Plan]

Choose Whole-Grains

The American Diabetes Association recommends that people with type 2 Diabetes eat a diet that is rich in whole-grain foods. whole-grain foods are purer and tend to have a higher nutritional value than refined grains. In order to choose truly whole-grain products, be sure to note if a whole-grain ingredient is the first one listed on the ingredient list. Doctors recommend that at least half of all grains you consume should be whole grains. Choosing to include whole grains in your diet can help to:

  • Reduce your risk of developing type 2 Diabetes
  • Help to maintain healthy blood sugar levels
  • Help to lower cholesterol

[Check out: 8 Natural Ways To Lower Blood Sugar Levels]

Skip The Crash Diets

Crash dieting may help you to lose weight at first, but chances are the effects won’t be long lasting. For people with type 2 Diabetes, it is better to simply make healthier choices. Learning how to choose foods that are nutrient-rich and controlling your portions is a much healthier way to lose weight. Instead of fad diets, consider healthy, long-lasting weight loss solutions, such as:

  • Eating a variety of nutrient rich foods
  • Eating smaller portions and waiting 20 minutes before back going for seconds (in most cases, you probably won’t want them after 20 minutes)
  • Eating slowly, enjoying every bite
  • Steering clear of fatty and fried foods
  • Choosing foods that are low in salt and cholesterol

Maintain A Healthy Weight

Maintaining a healthy weight is an effective way to prevent type 2 Diabetes. Researchers have found that dropping just 7 percent of your body weight can greatly reduce your risk for developing type 2 Diabetes. Each pound you lose can benefit your overall health. When trying to maintain a healthy weight, consider:

  • Making healthy eating choices much of the time
  • Keeping a journal that logs your weight and exercise for the day and keeps track of your daily food intake
  • Being physically active each day

Count Calories

Counting calories is an effective way for people with type 2 Diabetes to reach and maintain a healthy weight goal. Losing weight can lower you blood sugar levels and in time, reduce the amount of prescription drugs you depend on to control your diabetes. Daily calorie allowances depend upon your body type. It is important to balance your caloric intake, to ensure that you are getting enough healthy calories versus calories from fat and carbohydrates. Recommended calorie allowances include:

  • An overweight woman trying to lose weight generally should consume approximately 1,600-2,000 calories per day.
  • An overweight man trying to lose weight generally should consume approximately 2,000-2,400 calories per day.

[Read: 9 Easy Tips For Cutting Calories Every Day]

Choose Water

A good way to control calories and help prevent type 2 Diabetes is to drink plenty of water. Of course, eating a nutrient rich diet, getting plenty of exercise and maintaining a healthy weight are important components of diabetes prevention, but switching to water can also be very helpful. If you consume a lot of juices, soft drinks and sodas, you could be consuming hundreds of unneeded, unhealthy calories per day. These empty calories don’t fill you up and are adding to your weight gain, and excess intake of sugary foods. Simply switching to water can help you to lower your daily calorie intake and help you to lose weight.

Increase Your Fruit And Vegetable Intake

In an attempt to prevent type 2 Diabetes, it is a good idea to increase your intake of fruits and vegetables. Nutritionists recommend at least 3 to 5 servings of fruits and vegetables per day. Eating a diet that is rich in fruits and vegetables can help to:

  • Increase your daily fiber intake
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Keep your cholesterol and blood pressure under control

Get Up And Get Moving

Even if you have never exercised, it is possible for you to find some sort of physical activity to do. Physical activity of any kind can benefit your health. You do not have to start a structured exercise program, you just have to get up and get moving. Try going for a short walk or simply getting up and moving around several times throughout the day. Choose the stairs rather than the elevator whenever possible. If it is realistic, consider biking to work rather than driving your car. Or just go for a leisurely bike ride after work.

The important thing is to set realistic goals for yourself. Talk to your doctor if you have physical limitations, together, you can come up with a physical activity plan that’s right for you. Being physically active can help you to:

  • Keep your joints flexible
  • Improve circulation
  • Control blood pressure and blood sugar
  • Keep your heart healthy
  • Strengthen your bones and muscles

Eat Several Small Meals Throughout The Day

Eating nutritious foods and engaging in small frequent meals, about six times per day, can be beneficial in preventing type 2 Diabetes. Be sure that the portions are small and make healthy food choices. Before changing your diet and or eating habits, it may be helpful to consult your doctor. Eating small frequent meals can help to:

  • Regulate blood sugar
  • Prevent blood sugar spikes
  • Control hunger

[See: 10 Tricks To Suppress Your Appetite Naturally]

Type 2 Diabetes is a serious medical condition that, if left uncontrolled, can cause a variety of health problems. If you believe that you are at risk for type 2 Diabetes or if you simply want to make healthy changes, follow the tips listed above. Making small changes to your diet and activity level can be an effective foundation for diabetes prevention.

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