When it comes to getting the energy it needs to function, your body depends heavily on glucose. In simplest terms, the process goes like this:
You eat carbohydrates and convert them into glucose, which enters your bloodstream. This raises your blood sugar levels, and it acts as a signal for your pancreas to produce insulin and release it. Insulin allows your cells to absorb the glucose and use it as fuel.
On the surface, this seems straightforward. However, maintaining the correct balance of blood sugar levels isn’t always possible. When your body can’t do this, you’re dealing with diabetes.
With type 1 diabetes, your body can’t make enough insulin because the cells which produce it have suffered damage. With type 2, your cells don’t properly respond to insulin.
There is no cure for diabetes, and it is a condition which affects many people – the latest data of the WHO puts this number at over 400 million. Type 2 is more common by far, and it’s no overstatement to say that the world is dealing with an epidemic.
All in all, countless people are at risk. Many have prediabetes, which means that their blood sugar is elevated, but they haven’t developed diabetes yet.
Genes play a role in whether you will become
diabetic, but your lifestyle is also a major factor. Fortunately, this is
something you can change.
How to Reduce Diabetes Risk
Research shows you can prevent diabetes type 2 by
leading a healthier life. Let’s narrow this down to four practices. If you’re
wondering how to prevent diabetes, these basic guidelines are where you should
1. Maintain a Healthy Weight
When talking about the causes of diabetes, being overweight or obese is right at the top. The further away a person is from their ideal weight, the greater the risk of this illness.
A healthy body weight also helps with blood pressure and reduces the load on a person’s heart, joints, etc. Therefore, the first step in reducing the risk of diabetes is keeping control of your body weight.
When it comes to diabetes prevention, regular exercise has two major benefits. For one, it will help keep your body weight in check. Secondly, it can also increase how sensitive your muscles are to insulin, which allows them to make better use of it.
3. Watch Your Diet
Again, there is a double benefit here. Obviously, a healthy diet helps you maintain your weight, and it can help you lose some pounds in order to decrease the risk of diabetes.
But you can also directly lower your blood sugar by reducing the number of carbohydrates you ingest. In general, avoid highly processed carbs. Instead, go for whole grains, nuts, vegetables, and so on. It’s best to steer clear of sugary drinks.
4. Quit Smoking
Finally, there is clear evidence of a link
between smoking and diabetes. Not to mention that it can contribute to a host
of other conditions. As such, smokers should do everything in their power to
drop this habit.
How to Reduce Risk of Diabetes – The Takeaway
On one hand, all of this advice seems obvious. Watch your weight, work out, mind your diet, and quit smoking – anyone can see the benefits of these lifestyle changes.
It’s not always easy to change your habits, no matter how clear it is that they are good for you. But, at the end of the day, these practices are simple – you don’t need any remarkable resources to pull them off. It’s just a matter of will and commitment. Since the reward is potentially preventing a lifelong condition, the effort is worth it.