Diabetes is one of the largest health crises facing our nation today affecting 25 million people; that’s nearly 10% of the population. The good news is that diabetes is a preventable illness. A recent government study found that making just one major lifestyle change could reduce your risk by more than 30%. The study was able to pinpoint five key factors that contribute to diabetes and discovered that each factor alone could reduce this risk by a third, if you are able to address all five factors you can reduce your risk by up to 80%, even with a family history of diabetes. Here are the five factors that can help keep you healthy and protect you from developing this very serious condition.
Lower your BMI
Excess pounds are a huge contributor to type 2 diabetes. The more fatty tissue a person has the harder it is for their bodies to make and use insulin. According to a study by the National Institutes of Health, maintaining a healthy body mass index can single handedly reduce your diabetes risk by as much as 70%.
Whole Grains and Fiber
Maintaining healthy blood sugar levels can greatly reduce your risk and a diet high in fiber and whole grains is the single easiest way to keep those levels normal. Trading white flower for whole wheat and adding servings of nuts, vegetables, beans and fruits in place of sweets and processed foods can have enormous health benefits.
Our sedentary lifestyle has led to serious health problems in this country. Making sure that you get adequate exercise, even just 20 minutes a day, can help you maintain a healthy body weight, will increase insulin sensitivity and lower blood sugar levels.
Smokers that consume a pack of cigarettes a day have almost twice as high a rate of diabetes as their non-smoking peers.
Watch Your Alcohol Consumption
A little alcohol is fine but limit drinks to one a day for women and two a day for men to avoid chronic pancreas inflammation, this can lead to an impaired ability to make insulin which can contribute to diabetes.