5 Tips for Preventing Type 2 Diabetes

Research shows that replacing white breads, pastas, cereals and rice with whole grain varieties can help prevent type 2 diabetes. Start by resolving to eat whole grain versions of these foods at least half the time. (Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net)

About 25 percent of Americans are at risk for developing type 2 diabetes. But there are several ways you can cut your risk. Here are 5 helpful tips, from Mayo Clinic:

  1. Move more. Regular physical activity can help you to lose weight, lower your blood sugar level, and increase your sensitivity to insulin, which helps you to maintain a healthy blood sugar level. For the best results for diabetes prevention, include a mix of aerobic and weight resistance training in your workouts.
  2. Eat your fiber. Research shows that eating fiber can help you to improve your blood sugar control, lower your risk of heart disease, and promote weight loss by helping you to feel full for a longer period of time after a meal. Fiber-rich foods include fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, nuts and seeds.
  3. Choose whole grains. There is a link between eating whole grains and a reduced incidence of diabetes. While the connection is not fully understood, it is believed that whole grains could help you to maintain steady blood sugar levels. Try to make at least half of the grains you eat whole grains by looking for the word “whole” on food labels of┬ápastas, breads, rice and cereals.
  4. Lose any extra weight. If you are overweight, preventing diabetes may require weight loss. The upside? Your risk decreases for every pound you lose. In one study, diabetes risk decreased by 16 percent for every kilogram (2.2 pounds) lost. Those in the study who lost between 5 and 10 percent of their original body weight reduced their diabetes risk by nearly 60 percent over three years.
  5. Avoid fad diets, and resolve to make a healthy choice each day. While fad diets can be effective for weight loss, their effect on reducing diabetes risk is largely unknown. And if you restrict yourself from certain types of foods or food groups, you may be foregoing essential nutrients. Instead, remember that you are faced with many choices about your health each day. Make one good choice, and take pride in it. While changing your usual routine is never easy, one good choice often leads to another. The more healthy choices you make, the easier and more natural it will become.
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