Type 2 diabetes is by far the most common type of diabetes, and the good news is that it’s largely preventable. Whether you face an increased risk of diabetes – due to obesity or family history – or don’t show any signs of being affected, it’s a good idea to practice healthy habits that will allow you to avoid future health complications down the road.
Simple Steps to Preventing Type 2 Diabetes
Diabetes is a dangerous disease that can wreak havoc on individuals who don’t deal with the underlying causes. Some of the long-term effects of diabetes include kidney, nerve, and heart damage. Thankfully, you don’t have to sit idly by and let diabetes take its toll.
Here are a few simple steps to help you prevent this disease.
- Watch Your Diet
Watching your diet and being cognizant of what you’re eating – and how much you’re eating – is one of the most important steps in preventing diabetes. Specifically, it’s a good idea to consume plenty of fiber and whole grains.
“It’s not clear why, but whole grains may reduce your risk of diabetes and help maintain blood sugar levels,” Mayo Clinic notes. “Try to make at least half your grains whole grains. Many foods made from whole grains come ready to eat, including various breads, pasta products and cereals. Look for the word ‘whole’ on the package and among the first few items in the ingredient list.”
It’s also important that you consume more fruits and veggies. Studies show that a plant-based diet leads to a much lower risk of diabetes. As far as foods you want to avoid, stay away from those that are rich in sugar, saturated fat, and trans fat.
- Get Some Exercise
The second major key to reducing your risk of diabetes is to get adequate amounts of physical activity. Exercise helps you lose weight, levels out your blood sugar levels, and boosts your sensitivity to insulin (keeping your blood sugar at a normal level).
The best exercise routine is one that combines aerobic exercise and resistance training. This will improve blood flow and circulation, while also strengthening muscles and burning off unhealthy fats.
- Drink More Water
According to a study of women, those who drink one or more sugar-sweetened beverages per day have an 83 percent higher risk of type 2 diabetes, compared to those who drink less than one sugar-sweetened drink per month.
If you find yourself drinking lots of sugary drinks, such as soda or sports drinks, then you may benefit from incorporating more water into your daily routine. Even drinking black coffee or unsweetened tea helps. (The major benefit of water is that it happens to be a calorie-free substitute.)
- Stop Smoking
If you’re a smoker, you’ve probably numbed yourself to the health warnings. We’ll give you one more, though. Studies show that smokers are 50 percent more likely to develop type 2 diabetes than nonsmokers. Heavy smokers, those who smoke more than a pack a day, face an even greater risk. So, if you want to cut your risk of developing diabetes in half, stop smoking. It’s as simple as that.
- See Your Doctor Regularly
Are you familiar with the warning signs of type 2 diabetes? They aren’t always super alarming or obvious. For example, symptoms like frequent urination, increased thirst, unexplained weight loss, increased hunger, foot pain, and blurred vision are common. When you experience these symptoms, your first thought isn’t diabetes. Thus, many people go on for weeks, months, or years without getting a proper diagnosis.
If you face a high risk of diabetes, then you should remain hyperaware of the warning signs and symptoms. But regardless, you need to schedule regular visits and checkups with your doctor. Your doctor will be able to monitor your situation and make sure you’re putting yourself in a healthy position to avoid type 2 diabetes now and in the future.
Start Your Next Career
Are you intrigued by the idea of working in healthcare? Are you interested in obtaining the knowledge and critical skills needed to obtain an entry-level position in a hospital, clinic, or physician’s office? At Orion College, we offer flexible online programs that allow students to obtain degrees in healthcare management and medical assisting.
If you want to know more about our accredited programs and how you can fit one into your already busy schedule, please don’t hesitate to contact us today. We’d be more than happy to walk you through the process.