Change Your Ways, Reduce Your Risk: 7 Tips for Preventing Diabetes
Piggybacking the obesity epidemic, diabetes rates continue to surge. On June 10, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released new and alarming statistics on diabetes. An estimated 29 million Americans have the disease, a nearly 12 percent increase from the 26 million diabetics in 2010.
One-fourth of people don’t know they have diabetes—a scary fact, given the complications of chronically high blood sugar: heart attack, stroke, sight-robbing eye disease, kidney failure, foot amputation. Worse, another 86 million adults have prediabetes, a condition of elevated blood sugar just below the threshold for diabetes.
The vast majority of cases are type 2 diabetes, a condition characterized by insulin resistance, meaning cells fail to respond to insulin. In type 1 diabetes, the pancreas doesn’t make enough insulin.
The good news is type 2 diabetes is largely preventable. A seminal 2006 study demonstrated that intensive lifestyle modification reduced the risk of developing diabetes by 58 percent, as compared to a 31 percent risk reduction achieved with the antidiabetes drug metformin.
7 tips to help reduce your risk:
Lose excess body fat. Being overweight is a big risk factor for diabetes. In contrast, every kilogram (2.2 pounds) of weight lost reduces diabetes risk by 16 percent.
Follow a plant-based, low-calorie diet. Eat a variety of fruits and vegetables—a dietary pattern studies show reduces diabetes risk. Foods to avoid are those rich in trans fats (also called hydrogenated fat), saturated fat, and sugar.
Drink water. Studies link sugar-sweetened bevera Continue reading