One out of three Americans have prediabetes, and most don’t even know they have it. Prediabetes leads to Type 2 diabetes, which is both dangerous and preventable. People often develop Type 2 diabetes later in life unlike Type 1 diabetes, which is usually developed as a child. The good news is that with a proper diet and regular exercise, you can reduce your chances. If you feel you are at risk, below are a few simple tips to prevent Type 2 diabetes:
Maintain a healthy diet
A healthy diet is key when trying to avoid developing Type 2 diabetes. You should eat foods that are low in fat, sugar and sodium.
- Eat a balanced diet with fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean meats
- Watch your sugar intake
- Choose water instead of soda
- Avoid fad diets – remember to keep a general healthy lifestyle instead of spurts of extreme dieting
Watch your weight
When you lose weight properly, your body can better use insulin and break down glucose, ultimately reducing the chances of developing Type 2 diabetes.
- Write down the food you eat in a journal; it helps you avoid unnecessary snacking
- Eat slowly and in smaller portions
- Get your cholesterol and blood pressure checked regularly at your local lab
Make time for exercise
Exercise benefits your entire health including your heart, blood pressure and it even helps keep your blood sugar under control.
- Aim to exercise for 20 to 30 minutes each day
- Go for a walk instead of watching a TV episode you’ve already seen
- Opt for the stairs instead of the elevator and park farther away at the grocery store
If you make a few lifestyle changes, you will lessen the chances of developing Type 2 diabetes as an adult. For more information on how to prevent Type 2 diabetes, visit the National Diabetes Education Program website. If you want to assess your risk level, talk to your doctor about getting tested. Vista provides diabetes testing at all of our locations, so stop by today!