Diabetes is disease in which your blood sugar levels are too high, since your body can’t regulate it properly. The insulin hormone regulates blood sugar, but people with diabetes either don’t produce enough insulin or have a resistance to insulin. Type 1 diabetes occurs when the pancreas doesn’t produce enough insulin. However, type 2 diabetes is more common, and it’s caused by a decreased sensitivity to insulin. Unlike type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes is mostly preventable. Since it’s often linked to obesity, type 2 diabetes can have serious health consequences, including stroke and heart disease. Thankfully, you can lower your risk of diabetes by making healthy lifestyle changes. Here are 15 simple steps to prevent diabetes.
1. Maintain a healthy weight. The most important way to lower your risk of diabetes is to maintain a healthy weight. Weight loss is hard and takes time, so make sure any weight-loss program you try is sustainable. Avoid crash diets and opt for a lifestyle change instead.
2. Get active. Aim for 30 minutes of physical activity five days a week. It could be as simple as walking your dog, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, or doing crunches or squats while watching TV. Check out our beginner workouts, and get moving!
3. Eat plenty of fiber. Fiber is crucial for stabilizing your blood sugar. A high-fiber diet also helps you lose weight, since high-fiber foods keep you full for hours. Add ingredients like these 31 high-fiber foods to your diet.
4. Switch to whole grains. Whole grains are naturally high in fiber, as well as tons of vitamins and minerals that are important for your overall health. Plus, whole grain doesn’t just mean whole wheat! Farro, brown rice, and quinoa are all delicious options.
5. Eat healthy fats. Healthy fats, like the ones found in salmon, avocado, and coconut oil, can help your body burn fat. They can also help lower your LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol). Try these 7 healthy fats that promote weight loss.