While genetics does play a role in diabetes, our lifestyle plays a much larger part. That means that it’s possible to lower our risk of developing diabetes simply by changing our habits for the better. Here are some proven ways to lower your likelihood and prevent diabetes:
- Get regular medical checkups. Your doctor can help you monitor your health, recommend tests, and help catch disease early, before it has a chance to damage your body. Your doctor can also let you know if your bloodwork shows you may be headed for diabetes, and make suggestions about community resources that may be available to you.
- Eat a healthy diet. Choose a diet rich in fruit, vegetables, and whole grains. Limited red meat, saturated and trans fats, and salt/sodium. This type of diet has been shown to reduce your risk of developing almost all chronic diseases, including diabetes!
- Be active every day. You don’t have to go out and run marathons to be active! Shoot for 30 minutes of moderate activity (think brisk walk) most days of the week. Remember, every 10-minute bout counts. Those can add up quickly!
- Stay at a healthy weight. You can check your BMI here. While BMI certainly has its limitations, it’s a useful tool for the majority. A study conducted in Pittsburgh found that prediabetic participants who lost 10-15 pounds and walked 30 minutes on five days a week were 58 percent less likely to develop diabetes. Participants over 60 years old were 71 percent less likely to develop diabetes!
- Don’t smoke. If you do, quit.
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