Diabetes has become one of the leading causes of disability and death in the United States. People who are at high risk for type 2 diabetes can lower their risk by more than half if they make healthy changes. Prediabetes and type 2 diabetes are progressive diseases, the earlier you act the more likely you are to prevent or delay the progression of the disease.
A few simple lifestyle changes can make drastic improvements in your health.
1. Watch your weight. The common myth is that you need to limit/avoid carbohydrates--this is simply not true. Reality is, research shows what’s most important in type 2 diabetes prevention is weight loss or bottom-line reduced calorie intake. Finding a healthy eating plan that one can follow long term and make their new way of eating permanently is what you need to do. This isn’t about what one can follow for two weeks.
2. Get and stay physically active regularly. Every day get about 30 minutes of aerobic physical activity. Walking may be the easiest and also doing some resistance training. Exercise helps the body make better use of the insulin a person continues to make and uses it better.
3. Watch your liquid calories. Hidden calories are more dangerous as you are not aware of your intake. For example, you need to know how much sugar is hiding in your morning cup of coffee or in your afternoon beverage.
4. Choose food carefully. Even without significant weight loss, just eating more fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes and low/no fat dairy foods while cutting back on added sugars, skimming and trimming the fats are all valuable positive actions.
5. Adequate sleep. Sleep is as important as the food you eat.