Diabetes is a well-known chronic disease that has affected millions of individuals around the world. In some uncontrolled cases, diabetes has led to kidney failure, blindness, heart diseases etc.
While there are many factors related to diabetes (e.g. your genes) that cannot be changed, there are many steps that you can start following today onwards to avoid the risk of diabetes.
The following are 9 simple ways to avoid the risk of diabetes:
- Cut Down on Sugar and Refined Carbs from Your Diet
Individuals who eat sugary foods and refined carbs more than others are relatively more at risk of developing diabetes. This is because your body quickly breaks down into tiny sugar molecules that easily absorbed into your blood. As a result, the elevated blood sugar level of your body signals the pancreas to release insulin (a hormone that regulates the blood sugar levels in your body).
In case of prediabetics, their body cells resist the insulin’s action leading to high sugar levels in the blood. The pancreas, on the other hand, has to produce more insulin to curb the high blood sugar levels and bring down to a healthy level.
- Create a Workout Schedule and Follow it Religiously
Doctors recommend a lightweight exercise schedule to diabetics, which is also helpful for people with prediabetes.
As physical exercises increase insulin sensitivity, exercising leads to increased endurance and correspondingly decreased blood sugar levels.
A study on people with prediabetes resulted that those who performed physical lightweight exercises and high-intensity workout daily were found to have 51% and 85% increased insulin sensitivities, respectively (as long as they continued following their exercise schedule).
- Drink Plenty of Water as Your Primary Beverage
As you probably already know that water is the best natural beverage to drink, you can easily avoid other beverages that are high in sugar and preservatives if you stick with water.
Doctors prescribe to avoid sugary drinks as they increase the risk of developing type-2 diabetes and LADA (Latent Autoimmune Diabetes of Adults), which is nothing but type-1 diabetes that is common in individuals above 18 years of age.
- You Need to Lose Weight if You’re Obese
While not every diabetic person is overweight or obese, many are.
It has been observed that those who have developed type-2 diabetes tend to carry a big belly. On the inside, they have too much fat around their liver and other key organs. This fat is well known as visceral fat.
Excessive visceral fat lead to insulin resistance and inflammation leading to a high risk of developing type-2 diabetes.
Even though losing weight can reduce the risk of developing diabetes, losing more weight also has other health benefits.
A study conducted on over 1000 prediabetics found that for every 2.2 lbs or 1 kg of weight lost by the participants, the risk of diabetes development reduced by 16% and up to 96% in some.
- Quit Smoking Today; Rather Now!
It’s a well-known fact that smoking causes (or majorly contributes) to a number of critical health conditions, including cancer of the lung, breast, digestive tract, and prostate. Then there is another research that found out the link between smoking and second-hand smoking exposure leading to type-2 diabetes.
An analysis of several studies conducted around smoking and its hazards revealed smoking increases the risk of developing diabetes by 44% in an average smoker, whereas 61% in chain-smokers (over 20 cigarettes a day).
- Strictly Follow a Very Low-Carb Diet
Ketogenic (high-fat low-carb diet) or low-carb diet helps reduce blood sugar levels in the body.
While there are a number of ways to reduce your body weight by eating healthy, diets that are very low in carb have significant impacts on your body.
A low-carb diet has consistently reduced the blood sugar and insulin levels, including increased insulin sensitivity and reduced risk of developing diabetes.
Simply put, if you eat a very low carb diet, the sugar levels in your body won’t rise that much after eating. This also means that your body would need less amount of insulin to manage your blood sugar levels.
- Watch Your Portion Sizes
Irrespective of whether you choose to consume a low-carb diet on a regular basis, you must avoid large portions of your meals in order to reduce your risk of developing diabetes, especially when you’re obese.
Large portions of your meal at one go cause higher blood sugar levels and insulin in your body when you’re at a risk of developing diabetes. This situation can be easily avoided by choosing a smaller portion size.
A study conducted on prediabetics found that losing weight by watching the portion size significantly lowered the blood sugar levels in the participants after a period of 12 weeks.
- Switch to a High-Fiber Diet
Eating foods high in fiber are beneficial for your stomach as well as for weight management in long run. Various studies conducted around prediabetics, elderly and obese individuals have revealed that a high-fiber diet helps keep both blood sugar levels and insulin levels low.
However, fibers can be broadly divided into two major categories – Soluble Fibers and Insoluble Fibers. Soluble fibers absorb water while insoluble fibers do not.
Soluble fiber in your stomach forms a gel when mixed with water, which results in slow digestion of food, leading to a gradual increase in your blood sugar levels. On the other hand, insoluble fiber is known to reduce blood sugar levels, resulting in reduced risk of diabetes.
- Walk Away from Sedentary Lifestyle
Moving away from a sedentary lifestyle is very important to avoid the chances of developing diabetes.
If you don’t do any or only a little physical activity, or simply sit for most of the hours in a day, then you are leading a sedentary lifestyle.
Various observational studies have shown that there is a strong link between a sedentary lifestyle and the risk of developing diabetes.
Over to you!
What do you think about these simple ways to avoid the risk of diabetes? Do let us know in the comment section below.