It can be challenging to prevent diabetes, as the onset of the disease can be attributed to a complex combination of genetics and lifestyle factors. However, there are several ways you can reduce your risk, such as eating healthy, exercising regularly, and maintaining a healthy weight. Here are eight simple and effective ways to prevent diabetes before it starts.
Exercise for at least 30 minutes Every Day
Exercise is one of your best weapons against type 2 diabetes. Studies show that those with a more active lifestyle reduce their risk of type 2 diabetes by 58 percent. Start slow for two or three days a week, and work from there.
Continuous Glucose Monitoring
While it’s not a new technology, continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) is increasingly common among people with diabetes. CGM involves wearing a small sensor that measures blood sugar levels every few minutes and sends data wirelessly to an app on your phone.
Maintain a Healthy Weight (BMI of 25 Or Lower)
Being overweight or obese can cause insulin resistance and make it harder for your body to control blood sugar levels. Maintain a healthy weight by monitoring your BMI (body mass index) with a tool like Tandem Diabetes’ free BMI calculator, which considers both height and weight.
Get Enough Sleep
A lack of sleep has been linked to type 2 diabetes and insulin resistance. Therefore, getting at least 8 hours of sleep can improve your metabolic health.
Have an A1C Level of Less Than 5.7%
Physicians and health professionals use this number to define normal blood sugar levels. Anything above 5.7% is considered too high, so aim for an A1C level of less than 5.7%.
Keep Stress in Check
When we’re under too much stress, our bodies react by releasing more insulin. High insulin levels can lead to weight gain, which in turn leads to more stress and so on in a vicious cycle. To prevent diabetes from developing, managing your stress levels before they get out of control is essential.
Start regular screening at age 45 (or 40 if you have additional risk factors. That includes obesity, physical inactivity, family history, history of gestational diabetes, and polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).
Eat a Healthy Diet High in Fiber, Whole Grains, Vegetables, and Fruits
Include foods rich in fiber, like whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. Fiber adds bulk to your diet and keeps you feeling full longer. Plus, fiber-rich foods tend to have lower glycemic index levels (they’re more slowly digested). This is important for people with diabetes because rapid blood sugar increases can lead to dangerous increases in blood pressure.
If you have diabetes and want to prevent it, start by managing your weight and eating healthy. Work with your doctor on creating a treatment plan that includes a healthy diet, exercise, and medication if necessary. Diabetes is a life-altering disease that can cause severe damage. And therefore, the best way to deal with it is by following these instructions religiously to keep it under control.