The good news is you can prevent type 2 diabetes by staying at a healthy weight, eating healthy foods, and being more active. The following are recommended steps you can take to lower your risk for prediabetes and diabetes:
Eat healthy - Eat more fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins and low-fat dairy options. Reduce sugar, salt, white grains, high fat foods and processed foods.
Be active - Get 30 minutes of physical activity 5 days per week or 150 minutes each week of physical activity. Look at monthly themes to help you eat healthy and get more active throughout the year.
ReThink Your Drink - Choose water over sugary drinks such as sodas, juices, sports drinks, and sweetened coffees and teas. Make water more exciting and click here for a list of Spa Water recipes such as Cucumber Watermelon.
Maintain a healthy weight - Losing a small amount of weight can help prevent your risk significantly! Studies show that people at high risk for diabetes can prevent or delay the onset of the disease by losing 5 to 7% of total body weight which would be 10-14 pounds for a 200 pound person.
Lower your stress level - Making small steps to reduce your stress level can have a significant impact on your health. Take a break from daily stressors with a 10-minute walk. Get a good night sleep and develop a healthy sleep pattern. Spend time outside among nature to relax.
Don’t smoke or use tobacco products - Smokers are 30–40% more likely to develop type 2 diabetes than nonsmokers.
Maintain healthy blood pressure - Healthy blood pressure is below 120/80. High blood pressure is 140/90 or higher.
Maintain healthy cholesterol level - In general, people who do not already have heart disease should aim for:
- LDL cholesterol below 130 mg/dl – or much lower, if they are at risk of heart attacks or strokes
- HDL cholesterol above 60 mg/dl
- Triglycerides below 150 mg/dl
When you take steps to prevent type 2 diabetes, you will also lower your risk for possible complications of diabetes such as heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, blindness, nerve damage, and other health problems.