Reducing Your Diabetes Risk

Reducing your Diabetes risk

The prevalence of diabetes is quickly rising, with over 530 million people being affected by the disease. By 2023, this number is expected to rise to over 640 million. While emerging treatments are helping people manage their diabetes, there still remains a significant number of premature deaths due to the complications that this disease can cause. For those without diabetes or in a prediabetic position, it’s important to take action to prevent the onset of the disease. We’ll take a closer look at important steps that can reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes. 

Risk Factors And Causes Of Type 2 Diabetes

Before we take a look at how you can reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, it’s important to consider the causes of the disease. When it comes to these risks, there are both factors that you have and do not have control over. 

Some studies have shown that genetics play a role in type 2 diabetes. If you have a family history of type 2 diabetes, then your risk of developing the condition is generally higher. This, however, does not mean you will develop diabetes. 

Lifestyle factors, such as obesity and living a sedentary lifestyle, can significantly increase your chances of diabetes. There are also certain health conditions, such as prediabetes, that cause a greater risk. Prediabetes is also called insulin resistance, a condition where cells in your body become more resistant to the presence of insulin. 

Apart from these, the following risk factors also apply:

  • Hypertension (high blood pressure)
  • Depression and chronic stress
  • PCOS (Polycystic ovary syndrome)
  • A history of stroke
  • The presence of heart disease
  • Low levels of HDL cholesterol
  • High levels of triglycerides
  • Previously had gestational diabetes during pregnancy

How To Reduce The Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes

Now that we’ve looked at things that raise the risk of type 2 diabetes, let’s consider some of the best methods to keep the disease from developing. We’re going to share a number of tips that you should consider implementing in your own life. They will help to potentially prevent type 2 diabetes and improve your overall well-being too. 

Weight Management Strategies

One of the biggest risk factors involved in the development of type 2 diabetes is obesity. Recent statistics show that about 42.4% of adults in the United States are obese. Severe obesity affects almost 10% of American adults. 

In obesity, the excess adipose tissue that collects in the body can cause problems with B cell functionality. There are also other pathways by which obesity causes insulin resistance, which contributes to a higher risk for type 2 diabetes. 

One study shows that even losing just a small amount of weight can already provide a significant reduction in the risk of type 2 diabetes. 

To manage your weight, consider whether you are currently overweight or obese. In this case, develop a plan that allows you to burn a higher number of calories than you consume every day. Aim for a calorie deficit of about 500 to ensure you do not starve yourself in the process. It’s also important to make the most out of the calories you do consume – avoid empty calories and rather turn to whole grains and whole foods that can deliver important vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients to your body. 

Develop An Exercise Program

Exercise is important for everyone – not only those who are at risk of type 2 diabetes. With this said, it becomes even more important in a situation where you have prediabetes. 

One of the major benefits that come with regular exercise is the fact that it can help to improve the sensitivity that cells have toward insulin. This can effectively reduce insulin resistance, which ensures insulin is able to get glucose to enter your cells more efficiently. 

In one study, researchers looked at how high-intensity interval training, also known as HIIT, would affect blood sugar levels. The results included a significant improvement in blood glucose control. It’s also a great way to keep your weight in check. 

Eat More Fiber

Fiber is a type of carbohydrate, but while people with a risk of diabetes will usually try to limit their intake of carbs, this particular carb is not going to spike your blood sugar levels. Fiber is not broken down into sugars and your body doesn’t absorb this particular carbohydrate. Instead, it moves through your gastrointestinal tract and helps to clean the walls of your gut. 

There are other benefits that fiber offers too. Studies have already shown that including more fiber in the diet of someone who is considered prediabetic results in better blood glucose regulation. In addition to the management of your blood sugar levels, fiber also seems to be beneficial when it comes to keeping insulin levels in your body low, but without causing problems like hypoglycemia. 

Try To Avoid Processed Foods

One of the most convenient items at the shopping center in the modern day is processed foods. From cold cuts at the deli to cans of preserved foods, they make the process of creating a great-tasting dinner or lunch much easier. Unfortunately, these foods are filled with unhealthy fats, high levels of sodium and contain several additives or preservatives. 

You’ll often find that highly processed foods are very low in nutrients, yet they still load you up with carbohydrates and calories. The additives, refined ingredients, and vegetable oils in these processed foods can increase blood glucose levels – and ultimately also contribute to a higher level of insulin resistance in your body. 

While it’s not critical to cut out all processed foods from your life, try to consider how much processing the foods you buy have gone through. Opt for those with minimal processing to stay on the safe side. 

Bottom Line

It’s possible to reduce your chances of developing many diseases, including type 2 diabetes. With the right lifestyle changes and healthier habits, your risk can significantly decline. The tips we shared not only affect your risk of diabetes but may also help you avoid heart disease and several other conditions that are commonly found among the general population.