While there is nothing you can do about type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes can easily be prevented with a series of lifestyle changes. Professor Seamus Sreenan of the Connolly Hospital in Dublin, Ireland, has decided to share some simple steps anyone can take to keep at bay the metabolic disease.
1. You Should Keep an Eye on Your Weight and Waistline
Prof. Sreenan explained that those extra pounds put an additional strain on your body and make it resistant to insulin. Past studies had shown that even as little as 5 to 10 percent weight loss can greatly reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes. Furthermore, excess fat around your waistline is a clear indicator that your organs in the abdomen are enveloped in fat which can strongly up the diabetes risk. Prof. Sreenan recommends a balanced diet and exercise over food deprivation to fix the problem.
2. Have at Last Three Meals per Day
And never skip breakfast. Prof. Sreenan recommends having breakfast, lunch and a light tea-like meal. He also pleads for portion control and advises his patients to go for smaller plates if they want to eat less and prevent weight gain. Several studies had shown that eating at least a bit within the first three hours after you woke up every day lowers diabetes risk.
3. Drink Coffee
Prof. Sreenan cited some studies that revealed a link between unsweetened black coffee consumption and lower risk of type 2 diabetes. Coffee improves insulin resistance by lowering sugar absorption within the intestines.
4. Stay Away from Added Sugars
You should quit or limit the daily intake of desserts and sugary beverages including alcohol. Prof. Sreenan noted that there’s growing evidence suggesting a link between sugar consumption and risk of developing diabetes.
5. Boost the Fiber Intake in Your Diet
Dietary fiber prevents a quick rise of blood sugar levels shortly after the meal because it slows down sugar absorption in the intestines. Fiber also helps you feel full longer. You can get your daily dose of fiber from whole grains, beans, seeds, nuts, some fruits and veggies.
6. Stay Physically Fit
Regular exercise does not only help you with weight loss but it also helps the body process insulin properly, thus lowering the diabetes risk. Prof. Sreenan recommends at least 150 minutes of jogging, walking, swimming or cycling per week, or 30 minutes per day. Weight-lifting and other resistance exercises are also beneficial in diabetes prevention.
7. Get Enough Sleep
Past research had shown that people who get less than 6 hours of night’s rest are at a higher risk of getting diabetes. People who don’t get enough sleep tend to eat more unhealthy foods over the day to compensate.
8. Quit Smoking
Smoke cessation should be among the first on the list in a diabetes prevention program. Prior studies had found a link between smoking and increased insulin resistance. Prof Sreenan explained that kicking the habit would not only stave off diabetes but it would prevent other conditions from appearing such as limb infections, brain damage and kidney disease.
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