Summary: People can delay or prevent type 2 diabetes with a healthy diet and exercise. Medications also work, but are less effective.
The ways to delay or prevent type 2 diabetes include diet, exercise, and in some cases, medications. Don’t take risks with your health – all three of these tactics should only be carried out under the supervision of a qualified physician.
Research shows that some prevention strategies are more successful than others in preventing type 2 diabetes.
How Can I Prevent Type 2 Diabetes?
Some of the risk factors for type 2 diabetes are beyond your control, including genetics and growing older. Thankfully, many risk factors are within your control. The controllable factors include being overweight or obese, a high fat / high sugar diet, and having prediabetes.
Risk Factors Beyond Our Control
Genetics – If either of your parents has type 2 diabetes, it increases your risk of developing the disease by a fraction. Having other siblings or both parents with type 2 diabetes increases your risk even further. You can’t choose your parents. The only way to address this risk is by being proactive in preventing type 2 diabetes and getting tested more often.
Growing Older – As one grows older, the risk of type 2 diabetes increases, requiring one to work harder at prevention. Thankfully, nothing is being done to prevent Americans from growing older. The only way to address the increased risk is by getting tested more often and by being proactive in preventing type 2 diabetes.
Reversing the Risk Factors
Dr. Edward Gregg is chief of the epidemiology and statistics branch at the U.S. CDC. He is also the lead author of a study which estimated that 40% of Americans alive today will get diabetes, as was discussed in an earlier article on the high prevalence of type 2 diabetes. In the press release accompanying the report, Dr. Gregg provided some tips for preventing type 2 diabetes:
“The thing that’s going to have the biggest effect is if people with multiple risk factors can make sustained changes in their lifestyles,”
Dr. Gregg added:
“Weight-loss surgery is an option for some, and it is highly effective, but that’s not going to be the solution for the large number of people at risk for diabetes.”
Lifestyle Changes to Prevent Type 2 Diabetes
Three factors within your control include body weight, diet, and exercise.
1.) Lose excess weight – losing just 5 to 10 percent of your body weight can reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes, and make you much healthier in the process.
2.) A meal plan rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains is not only a healthy diet, but it also helps you lose weight, a proven way to prevent type 2 diabetes. Eating plenty of fruits and vegetables provides lots of fiber. The secret is in the fiber – it fills you up, so you don’t feel hungry. Studies have shown that fruits and vegetables help you live longer, reducing the risk of stroke, cancer, heart attack and premature death.
3.) Regular Exercise – You can lose weight with 30 to 60 minutes of moderate physical activity most days of the week.
Coffee Drinkers Have Less Diabetes
Coffee is chock full of antioxidants and bioactive compounds. In fact, it’s probably one of the healthiest components of the average Western diet. As explained in a related article, research that shows that coffee drinkers have reduced rates of type 2 diabetes.
Take Home Message
Research shows that diet, exercise and lifestyle modifications are the best ways to delay or prevent type 2 diabetes.
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1) Advice, Diagnosis, and Treatment: This article is intended for educational and information purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. The information provided in this article should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A qualified physician should be consulted for the diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911, or an emergency hotline, for all medical emergencies. As well, consult a licensed physician before changing your diet, supplement or exercise programs. 2) Photos, External Links & Endorsements: This article is not intended to endorse organizations or products. Links to external websites, depiction/mention of company names or brands, are intended only for illustration and do not constitute endorsements.