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When we talk about diabetes prevention we are, in most cases, referring to type 2 diabetes. This form is most commonly diagnosed later in life and can be regulated by lifestyle choices. Simple steps can be taken to ensure you make the right choices so that you are not at risk of diabetes.
Excess weight has been cited by the Nurse Health study as the single most important cause of type 2 diabetes. According to the study, being overweight increases the chances of developing type 2 diabetes seven fold. Being obese makes you 20 to 40 times more likely to develop the condition.
Other than helping you lose weight, exercise can lower your blood sugar level and boost your sensitivity to insulin. This will improve your ability to absorb glucose. Researchers at the Harvard Medical school agree that inactivity promotes type 2 diabetes. According to their study, every two hours spent watching TV instead of pursuing something more active increases the chances of developing diabetes by 14 per cent. This doesn’t necessarily mean intensive exercise. In fact, The Black Women’s Health Study suggests that brisk walking for a meagre 5 hours a week could reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 30 per cent.
Many studies have looked into those specific dietary changes that can lower the risk of type 2 diabetes:
Whole grain products over highly processed carbohydrates - The bran and fibres in whole grains are more difficult to break down into glucose, resulting in a lower, slower increase of blood sugar and insulin, and a lower glycemic index. As a consequence, they stress the body’s insulin-making machinery less, and so can help prevent type 2 diabetes.
Reduce red meat intake and avoid processed meat -Specialists at the university of Oslo have proposed that people who frequently eat red meat have approximately a 20 per cent greater risk of type 2diabetes than those who rarely or never eat red meat.
Choose good fats instead of bad fats - Polyunsaturated fats commonly found in liquid vegetable oil, nuts and seeds are widely known for their diabetes prevention benefits. Trans fats, such as those found in margarine, fast food and products that lists ‘partially hydrogenated vegetable oil’ as an ingredient are generally considered to be ‘bad fats’ and will increase the likelihood of type 2 diabetes.
Cut down on sugary drinks - Notorious for their high glycemic load, sugary fluids are associated with weight gain, increasing the risk of diabetes. Nutrionalists at the university of Boston have shown that people who drink one or more sugar-sweetened beverages per day had a massive 83 per cent more chance of developing type 2 diabetes than those who drank less than one per month.
As with all health conditions, you must stay slim and stay active if you are to prevent them from directly affecting your life.