Diabetes comes in two different forms. The first of these is type-1 diabetes, which is the least common and is a naturally occurring ailment due to the body not being able to naturally produce insulin due to damages cells – its cause is also currently unknown.
The second and most common form of diabetes is known as type-2 diabetes, and is closely linked to our lifestyle choices, along with other factors such as genetics, age, and ethnicity. While some of these are out of our control, our lifestyle choices certainly aren’t, meaning there is a lot we can do to prevent the development of type-2 diabetes.
Type-2 diabetes can lead to several health issues, including kidney failure, blindness, the loss limbs such as legs or feet due to nerve damage, and it can greatly increase the chances of suffering from a heart attack too. The good news is that developing the disease is mostly avoidable with some minor lifestyle changes, with estimations that as many as 9 out of 10 cases could be avoided.
Here’s the right type of choices that can help prevent diabetes:
Maintain a Healthy Weight
Being overweight is the leading factor to the development of diabetes, with those who are obese facing a massive risk of developing the disease – from as much as 20 to 40 times higher. Those with a body mass index (BMI) of 25 or higher face significantly higher risk of developing type-2 diabetes.
Those with a weigh higher than the standard healthy weight category could greatly benefit from trying to lose weight, whilst those who currently have a healthy weight should continue to maintain this to help keep the risks as low as possible.
For those that need to lose those excess pounds to reach a healthy weight, exercise will be a requirement. Yet even those with a lower weight can still be a risk due to inactivity, meaning anyone exercising more will greatly reduce the risk of diabetes.
Plus the health benefits of regular exercise are plentiful, so there is always good reason to start working out more!
Increasing your muscle activity regularly will improve the rates in which they can produce insulin to help absorb glucose levels, helping to alleviate some stress on the vitally important cells that produce insulin.
That doesn’t mean you need to hit the weights to reduce your chances of developing diabetes, as even minor changes to your fitness levels can make all the different. For example, even adding half an hour of walking into your physical activities everyday could help lower the chances of developing diabetes by as much as a third!
Watch Less TV
Directly linked to being overweight and inactive, watching too much TV can be a massive risk factor when it comes to type-2 diabetes. The possibly of developing the disease can increase by as much as 20% for every two hours of television watched each day, not to mention increasing the risks of many other health ailments, such as heart disease.
You will struggle to keep your weight under control the more TV you watch, so cut out a few hours from your daily TV time and spend it working out, going for a walk or run, or even taking a scenic bike ride somewhere – anything that gets you more active!
Diet is of course a main contributor to our weight, so those who eat a terrible diet are more likely to be overweight and therefore more at risk. Even those with lowered weights could still be at danger with an unhealthy diet, so making changes should be done regardless of your weight.
Whole grains are known for the ability to help prevent diabetes, so adding them into your diet is very important, as it could reduce the risks by up to 30% when compared to those who do not have increased whole grains in their diets.
So making the swap from refined carbohydrates (white breads, rice, etc.) to whole grains is a great place to start in terms of improving your diet.
Eating a healthy balanced diet in general will be a massive help in reducing the risk of developing type-2 diabetes. Not only will it help to maintain a healthy weight, but your body will be given ample nutrition, making you feel much healthier.
Drop as many processed foods as possible, aiming to reduce your intake of saturated fats and sugars, replacing them with more fruit, vegetables, whole grains, healthy fats and lean meats.