There’s so much noise out there about diet, exercise, and what programs to follow that it’s easy to lose focus on the main issue: health and wellness. These tips on ways to avoid developing type 2 diabetes should help reduce the noise and make lifestyle decisions easier.
Disclaimer: This article is not intended as medical advice. Consult with your doctor about any specific health concerns you may have.
The Prevalence of Type 2 Diabetes in the US
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), over 37 million Americans, or 1 in 10, have diabetes. Type 2 diabetes accounts for 90–95 percent of these cases. As the prevalence of the disease keeps rising, it’s essential to make simple yet effective lifestyle changes to reduce our risk.
Common Sense Lifestyle Changes
Taking steps to lead a healthier lifestyle can help you avoid developing type 2 diabetes. Consider incorporating the following:
Regular Exercise: Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise each week. Include strength training and flexibility exercises in your routine.
Healthy Weight: Losing as little as 5–7 percent of body weight can significantly reduce your risk for type 2 diabetes if you’re overweight.
Balanced Diet: Consume plenty of whole grains, fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and low-fat dairy products.
Fewer Processed Foods: Decrease your intake of sugary drinks, fast foods, and highly processed snacks.
Smoke-Free Lifestyle: Smoking is a known risk for a multitude of health issues, including type 2 diabetes. Ask your health-care provider for support in quitting.
Typical Features of a Type 2 Diabetes Diet
Though your physician and a registered dietitian are the best sources for creating personalized meal plans, incorporating the following elements into your diet can help reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes:
Whole Grains: Opt for brown rice, quinoa, and whole grain pasta, bread, and cereals. These complex carbs help regulate blood sugar levels and keep you feeling full longer.
High Fiber: Vegetables, fruits, legumes, and whole grains are excellent sources of fiber. Incorporate a variety of colors and types for an enjoyable and nutritious experience.
Lean Protein: Fish, chicken, beans, lentils, and low-fat dairy products are excellent protein sources that help balance your blood sugar levels.
Water and Sugar-Free Drinks: Staying hydrated by drinking water and other sugar-free beverages can help you maintain proper hydration and prevent overeating.
Healthy Fats: Avocados, nuts, seeds, and plant-based oils provide essential fatty acids and can aid in managing your blood sugar levels.
Remember, if you have serious health concerns or questions about what type of diet is best for you, ask your doctor to advise you. You’ll learn about the difference between regimens like Keto or Paleo, and what the Mediterranean diet really entails. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is about making delicious food choices and enjoying the benefits for your energy and mood. Take these tips on ways to avoid type 2 diabetes to heart, and you’ll be well on your way to a healthier, happier life without the burden of type 2 diabetes.