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Diabetes prevention

Changing your lifestyle is a big step in preventing diabetes, and it’s never too late to start. Keep these tips in mind.

Lifestyle changes can help prevent type 2 diabetes, the most common form of the disease. Prevention is especially important if you are currently at increased risk for type 2 diabetes due to being overweight or obese, having high cholesterol or a family history of diabetes.

If you have been diagnosed with prediabetes (high blood sugar levels below the threshold for diagnosing diabetes), lifestyle changes can prevent or delay the onset of the disease. Making some lifestyle changes now can help you avoid serious complications of diabetes, such as nerve, kidney and heart damage, in the future. It’s never too late to start.

1.Lose excess weight

Losing weight reduces the risk of diabetes.

Set a weight loss goal based on your current weight. Discuss reasonable short-term goals and expectations with your doctor, such as: lose 1 to 2 pounds per week.

2.Exercise more.

Regular exercise has many benefits. Exercise can help you:

Lose weight

Lower your blood glucose level.

Increase insulin sensitivity, which keeps blood sugar in a normal range.

For most adults, the goals to promote weight loss and maintain a healthy weight are:

Aerobic exercise. Aim for 30 minutes or more of moderate to vigorous aerobic exercise, such as brisk walking, swimming, bicycling, or running, on most days, for a total of at least 150 minutes a week.

Resistance exercise. Resistance exercises, when performed 2 to 3 times a week, increase strength, balance, and the ability to lead an active life. Resistance training includes weight lifting, yoga, and gymnastics.

Limited downtime. Taking a break from long periods of inactivity, such as sitting at a computer, can help control blood glucose levels. Take a few minutes every 30 minutes to stand, walk or do something light.

3.Eat healthy plant foods.

Vegetables provide vitamins, minerals and carbohydrates to your diet. Carbohydrates include sugars and starches (your body’s energy sources) and fiber. Dietary fiber, also known as dietary fiber, includes the parts of plant foods that the body cannot digest or absorb. Foods rich in fiber promote weight loss and reduce the risk of diabetes. Eat a variety of healthy fiber-rich foods, such as:

Fruits, such as tomatoes, peppers and tree fruits.

Non-starchy vegetables, such as leafy greens, broccoli and cauliflower.

Legumes, such as beans, chickpeas and lentils

Whole grains, such as whole-grain pastas and breads, brown rice, whole-grain oats and quinoa

Here are some of the benefits of fiber:

It slows the absorption of sugars and lowers blood glucose levels.

Interferes with the absorption of cholesterol and fats from the diet.

Check for other risk factors affecting heart health, such as blood pressure and inflammation.

Helps you eat less because high-fiber foods are more filling and provide lots of energy. Avoid foods that are “bad carbs” – those that are high in sugar with little fiber or nutrients: white breads and pastries, pastas made with white flour, fruit juices and processed foods with sugar or high fructose corn syrup.

4.Eat healthy fats

Fatty foods are high in calories and should be consumed in moderation. To lose weight and control weight, your diet should include a variety of foods rich in unsaturated fats, sometimes called good fats.

Unsaturated, monounsaturated, and polyunsaturated fats promote healthy cholesterol levels and a good heart and vascular health. Here are some sources of healthy fats:

Olive, sunflower, safflower, cottonseed, and canola oils.

Nuts and seeds, such as almonds, peanuts, flaxseeds, and pumpkin seeds

Oily fish such as salmon, mackerel, sardines, tuna, and cod

Saturated fats, the “bad fats,” are found in dairy products and meat. These fats should be a reduced part of your diet. You can limit your intake of saturated fats by eating low-fat dairy products and lean poultry and pork.

5.Avoid fad diets and make healthier choices.

Many fad diets, such as glycemic index diets, ketogenic diets, or paleolithic diets, may help you lose weight. However, very little research has been done on the long-term benefits of these diets or their benefit in preventing diabetes.

Your dietary goal should be to lose weight and maintain a healthier weight thereafter. That’s why healthy food choices should include a strategy to follow as a lifelong habit. Making healthy choices that reflect some of your own food preferences and traditions can benefit you over time.

Dividing your plate is a simple strategy that will help you choose the best foods and eat the right portions. These three areas of your plate promote healthy eating:

One half: fruits and non-starchy vegetables.

One-fourth: whole grains

One-fourth: protein-rich foods such as legumes, fish, or lean meat.

Ask your doctor

Talk to your doctor about your concerns and how to prevent diabetes. Your doctor will appreciate your efforts to prevent diabetes and can make additional recommendations based on your medical history and other factors.

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