Ways to Prevent Type 2 Diabetes
By Sara Butler
Diabetes is a prevalent disease in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, many of the 34 million people with diabetes in the U.S. suffer from type 2 diabetes, which is generally preventable. Here's what you need to know about type 2 diabetes and how you might be able to prevent it from becoming an issue with your health.
For many people at risk of developing type 2 diabetes, several risk factors can be modified in order to help reduce your risk, such as diet and level of physical activity. However, there are some risk factors that you cannot control, including:
- Race (those of Hispanic or African American descent are at a higher risk)
- Polycystic ovarian syndrome
- Close family relatives with diabetes
- History of gestational diabetes when pregnant
Some people are simply born with a predisposition toward type 2 diabetes. There are other factors people do have control over and those are the things you should focus on to help prevent type 2 diabetes.
A healthy, balanced diet is one tool you can use to ward off type 2 diabetes. Your diet should consist of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and foods rich in prebiotics and probiotics. To accomplish this, you should:
- Limit processed foods
- Choose healthy carbohydrates in whole foods such as oatmeal and quinoa
- Make half your plate vegetables
- Choose lean proteins such as salmon and eggs
- Choose healthy fats such as olive oil and flaxseed
Exercise is essential to help control your blood sugar. It helps to decrease how resistant your body is to using insulin properly. Aim to walk at least 10,000 steps per day or get in a 20-30 moderate intensity workout in most days of the week. If you're starting a new exercise routine, then you should consult with a medical professional beforehand to ensure you're healthy enough. And don't forget to start slow to help reduce energy.
You can keep tabs on your blood sugar over time by making sure to have your A1C levels tested periodically. These can give you insight into how your blood sugars have averaged over time and whether or not you're heading toward type 2 diabetes. Remember, people don't develop this disease overnight. Many people are in a pre-diabetic state where preventative steps can be taken if they know about it.
Diabetes is a serious disease but there are steps you can take to lower your risk of developing it.
To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Englewood, Colo.