How to Prevent Diabetes

Diabetes is a disorder that occurs when the body doesn't produce enough insulin, a hormone that regulates blood sugar. Approximately one-fourth of Americans, or 24 million people, are at risk for developing type 2 diabetes. The rate of diabetes is increasing and creating a major strain on the United states economy because of the rise in health care costs. The good news is, diabetes is preventable.

Even if your blood glucose levels are higher than normal, its not too late to prevent the onset of diabetes. You can reduce your risk for developing diabetes just by making a few simple lifestyle changes to improve your diet and increase the amount of daily exercise you do. Even if you already have diabetes, these changes can help improve your condition.

1. Increase your daily physical activity.

Even just taking a walk daily can reduce your risk of diabetes by 30% according to a 16 year study done by the Harvard School of Public Health. Exercising can lower your blood sugar and increase your sensitivity to insulin. Research by the American Diabetes Association shows that both aerobic exercise and resistance training can help control and prevent diabetes. Try adding exercise to your daily routine. Simple tasks like taking a walk or jogging can have a huge impact on your health.

2. Spend more time outside

The body absorbs vitamin D from sun exposure, so spending more time outside will help you take in more of this crucial vitamin. Vitamin D is involved with insulin secretion and sensitivity. A study performed by Loyola University Chicago found that this vitamin can prevent and delay the onset of diabetes, along with reducing issues with diagnosed diabetics. Taking a walk during the daytime is a great way to get more exercise and absorb vitamin D. If you live somewhere that doesn't have very much sunshine, a supplement will have a similar impact.

3. Eat your vegetables, nuts, seeds, and fruit

Eating healthy foods can help you control your weight. Vegetables, fruits, nuts, and seeds are all extremely high in vitamins, minerals, fiber and phytochemicals, and will help you feel full faster as a result. In addition, it is safe to eat more because these foods are low in calories and carbohydrates. You should try to eat at lease 3-5 servings of vegetables a day. One serving is equal to about one cup of raw vegetables

4. Avoid processed foods, trans fats, additives, and chemicals in foods.

Most processed and fast foods contain trans fats, which can contribute to unhealthy weight gain and less control over your diabetes. A low-inflammatory diet is recommended for those who have or are at risk for having diabetes, so it is best to avoid any foods that contain additives, chemicals, preservatives, and trans fats.

5. Cut down or replace the meat

Becoming a vegetarian and cutting down on the meat can help prevent diabetes. A large 8.8 year long study that evaluated over 37,000 women shows that eating red meat increases the risk of diabetes. Processed meats were shown to further increase this risk. Fortunately, there are many soy products on the market to replace meat which are much more beneficial to your health.
If you fear you may develop diabetes, or you already have it, there is no time to waste. The sooner you change your diet and lifestyle, the more likely you are to prevent diabetes.