“How to prevent diabetes?” I believe this is one of the key concerns in today’s global health issues. In recent years, obesity has become increasingly prevalent in younger people, causing type 2 diabetes, which originally mostly occurred in middle-aged people, to also begin to occur in younger people.
If you are overweight, have a family history, or have been diagnosed with prediabetes (Prediabetes), which means your fasting blood sugar is high, you need to do more to prevent diabetes. Here is how to prevent type 2 diabetes.
Can type 2 diabetes be cured?
“Will type 2 diabetes be cured?” has always been a question for many people with diabetes. Unfortunately, type 2 diabetes will not be cured, but there is a high chance that it can be controlled by adjusting life and diet.
By changing lifestyles, about 90% of cases in the United States can be avoided or even reduce the risk of heart disease and some cancers.
How to prevent type 2 diabetes?
Methods to prevent type 2 diabetes can be divided into two main principles: weight control and more exercise. To control weight, we must start with diet and exercise. A healthy diet, increased exercise, and weight loss can avoid serious complications of diabetes in the future, such as nerve, kidney, and heart diseases.
Here are ways to prevent type 2 diabetes from the American Diabetes Association:
Method 1 to prevent diabetes: exercise more
Regular exercise can not only help lose weight and lower blood sugar, but also improve sensitivity to insulin, which means that glucose can be effectively used by the body, thereby keeping blood sugar within the normal range.
According to the Nurses’ Health Study (NHS) and Health Professionals Follow-Up Study (HPFS), walking briskly for half an hour a day can reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes by about 30%.
In addition, some studies have shown that aerobic exercise and resistance training can help control diabetes, and the greatest benefit is if both types of exercise are done.
Method 2 to prevent diabetes: Eat more dietary fiber
A very important principle in the diet to prevent diabetes is to consume more fiber, which can not only help improve blood sugar control and reduce the risk of diabetes, but also reduce the risk of heart disease. In addition, consuming dietary fiber, including fruits, vegetables, beans, whole grains and nuts, can also increase satiety and help lose weight more smoothly.
Method 3 to prevent diabetes: Eat whole grains
Avoiding refined starches (such as white rice, white bread, white noodles) and consuming whole grains can help reduce the risk of diabetes and help maintain blood sugar levels. It is recommended that when cooking staple foods, whole grains should account for more than half of the entire staple food. For example, if you only eat white rice, you can replace more than half of the white rice with brown rice or ten-grain rice.
Method 4 to prevent diabetes: lose weight
If you have a problem with being overweight, losing weight may be effective in helping you prevent diabetes. In a large foreign study, participants lost 5 to 7% of their initial weight and exercised regularly. The study found that the risk of developing diabetes was reduced by nearly 60%.
Method 5 to Prevent Diabetes: Portion-Controlled Eating Plan
Low-carb diets, low-GI diets or ketogenic diets, etc., are all diet methods that have become popular all over the world and are even recommended by celebrities from various countries. Of course, these diets may help with weight loss in the short term, but their effectiveness in preventing diabetes, their side effects, or their long-term effects are unclear. Instead of this, you might as well design a diet plan that focuses on healthy, natural foods and controls the portions you take.
In addition, other dietary principles to prevent type 2 diabetes are as follows:
- Eat less red meat and processed meat:
Eat less beef and pork, choose white meat such as poultry or seafood, eat less meat such as bacon and ham, and limit saturated fat to less than 10% of total calories per day.
- Drink less sugary drinks:
Drink more boiled water and choose unsweetened black coffee or tea are also important principles.
- Quit smoking:
Studies have found that smokers are 50% more likely to develop diabetes than non-smokers, and heavy smokers have an even higher risk.
- Drink a small amount of alcohol:
Studies have found that moderate amounts of alcohol (up to 1 drink per day for women and 2 drinks per day for men) can help increase the efficiency of cells in using glucose. Drinking too much alcohol increases your risk of developing diabetes.
When should I go to the doctor to have my blood sugar tested?
The American Diabetes Association recommends that people who meet the following conditions can start testing blood sugar:
- Aged 45 or older
- Adults of any age who are overweight and have one or more other risk factors for diabetes, such as a family history of diabetes, a history of prediabetes, or low daily activity levels, need to be aware of the risk of type 2 diabetes.
If you begin to experience common diabetes symptoms such as thirst, frequent urination, and easy hunger, please seek medical examination and treatment as soon as possible.