Is diabetes preventable? The answer is a little more complicated than a simple “yes” or “no”. While you can’t control your genes or past lifestyle, you do have control over many of the other risk factors that can lead to diabetes.
If you want to learn how you can prevent or delay getting diabetes, keep reading to find out how.
Who Is at Risk?
While you may be able to prevent or delay getting type 2 diabetes, type 1 diabetes, on the other hand, can’t be prevented. On the other hand, a combination of risk factors such as your genes and lifestyle can increase your chances of getting type 2 diabetes.
Some risk factors include:
- Having prediabetes (elevated blood sugar levels, but not high enough to be considered diabetes)
- Obesity or being overweight
- Being over the age of 45
- A family history of diabetes
- High blood pressure
- An inactive lifestyle
- A history of heart disease or stroke
- Diabetes during pregnancy
What Is the Best Way to Prevent Diabetes?
Individuals at risk for type 2 diabetes may be able to prevent or delay getting it. While you can’t change certain factors — such as your genes, age, or previous lifestyle — there are still many actions you can take to reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes.
Here are some ways you can prevent diabetes:
Remove Sugar and Refined Carbs From Your Diet
If you are already an at-risk individual, eating sugary foods and refined carbs can put you on the fast track to developing diabetes. Eating foods high in sugar and refined carbs increase your blood sugar and insulin levels, which can lead to diabetes over time.
Cutting these foods from your diet may help reduce your risk.
Live an Active Lifestyle
Performing physical activities regularly can increase insulin secretion and sensitivity. Being active helps prevent the progression from prediabetes to diabetes.
During one study in people at risk of diabetes, they found that burning more than 2,000 calories weekly through exercise was required to achieve these benefits.
Make Water Your Drink of Choice
Primarily sticking with water can help you avoid beverages that are high in sugar, preservatives, as well as other questionable ingredients.
Sugary drinks such as soda are linked to an increased risk of type 2 diabetes as well as latent autoimmune diabetes of adults (or LADA).
Try to Lose Weight If You’re Obese or Overweight
Individuals who carry excess weight, particularly in the abdominal area, increase their likelihood of developing type 2 diabetes. Losing weight can significantly reduce the risk of diabetes.
While losing even a small amount of weight helps reduce this risk, studies show that the more weight you lose, the more benefits you’ll experience.
Optimize Vitamin D Levels
If you want to reduce your risk of diabetes, start taking supplements and incorporating foods high in vitamin D into your diet. There are many benefits of vitamin D, but one of its most important benefits is that it is vital for blood sugar control which reduces your risk of getting diabetes.
Is Diabetes Preventable?
While you can’t control your genes or past lifestyle, you do have control over many of the other risk factors that can lead to diabetes.
If you’re asking yourself, “Is diabetes preventable?”, take this guide as motivation for making healthy changes that can help reduce your risk.
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