9 Ways to Help Prevent Type 2 Diabetes
Type 2 Diabetes is the most common form of the condition and accounts for between 85-90% of diabetes. Unlike Type 1, Type 2 can be prevented by making changes to your lifestyle.
If you have been diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes making these changes will also have a great effect upon alleviating your symptoms and making your condition more manageable.
To help those at risk of developing and living with Type 2 Diabetes we have outlined our 9 best lifestyle changes to help you on the road to a healthier life.
Try to lose some weight and keep it off
Being overweight is one of the biggest risk factors when it comes to developing type 2 diabetes. Research has shown that being obese can make you up to 40 times more likely to develop type 2 diabetes than someone who is a healthy weight.
One study found that participants that lost around 7 % of their total body weight through diet and regular exercise cut their risk of developing diabetes by almost 60%!
Move your body…regularly
There are countless benefits to regular exercise if you are at risk or living with type 2 diabetes. Aerobic exercises at a moderate level are best recommended to help control becoming diabetic. Exercises such as walking, yoga and swimming will help you lose weight and lower your blood sugar levels.
Watch what you eat
Making poor food decisions is another leading cause of type 2 diabetes. There are simple things you can do such as swapping white bread to whole grain products, choosing unprocessed meats and eating healthy fats.
Avoid trans fats at all costs, these are often found in margarine, frozen dinners and baked goods that have an extended shelf life. Trans fats increase inflammation and can lead to the risk of heart disease.
Did you know smokers are about 50% more likely to develop type 2 diabetes than those who don’t smoke? If you smoke and have diabetes, you are at even greater risks at also developing heart disease, kidney disease and retinopathy (going blind).
Drink lots of water
Water is the best thing a person at risk of developing type 2 diabetes can drink to stay hydrated. Unlike soft drinks, energy drinks and sugary teas, water won’t raise your blood sugar levels. Keep an eye out for added sugars in drinks, and ensure that your main source of hydration is water.
Take it easy on the booze
It’s important if you are at risk or living with type 2 diabetes to not drink excessive amounts of alcohol. We know this can be tough especially with the silly season around the corner. It’s recommended to drink up to one standard drink a day for women and up to two for men.
Excess drinking increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, so why not offer to be the designated driver this Christmas? You’ll be appreciated by your friends and family, whilst looking after your health.
Easier said then done, we know. However, being stressed releases hormones that increase your blood sugar. One great way to manage stress less is going for walks at lunchtime or after work.
Meditation is also an awesome way to calm your body down, relax your muscles and focus on your breathing. Try downloading a free meditation app such as ‘calm’ and see if meditating works for you.
Get more sleep
Again, one of those things we all strive for but rarely achieve. Studies have shown that individuals that are sleep deprived are at a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes. The first step in getting the right amount of sleep is making it a priority.
Attempt to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, putting your body into a routine. Monitoring your caffeine intake will also help, as well as exercising daily to tire your body.
Get some vitamin D
Did you know that getting a bit of sun daily could help you prevent developing type 2 diabetes? Research has shown a connection between type 2 diabetes and people that are vitamin D deficient. This is because vitamin D regulates blood sugar levels, minimising the risk of insulin resistance (often a precursor of developing type 2 diabetes.
We encourage you to go for a walk in the sun to get your daily dose of vitamin D (around 10-30 minutes of midday sunlight) and don’t forget to slip, slop, slap to avoid sun damage.