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5 Practical Tips for Diabetes Prevention
Think diabetes, and we almost always presume it is about managing the condition. But do you know diabetes can be prevented?
Even if you are at the prediabetes level! Sounds relieving, doesn’t it? In this article, let’s understand how to prevent type 2 diabetes.
According to India Diabetes (ICMR INDIAB) study published in 2023, the prevalence of diabetes is 10.1 crores. Yet 90% of them are unaware that they have this silent condition.
Moreover, more than half of the people diagnosed with prediabetes aren’t taking any steps towards diabetes prevention.
When people talk about preventing diabetes, they mainly refer to type 2 diabetes prevention that can be brought about by a few lifestyle modifications. Medical research has also proved that people with a healthy lifestyle have a 75% lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
How to Control Prediabetes?
To answer the above question about how to prevent diabetes and control prediabetes, we must first understand more about prediabetes and diabetes.
If you are diagnosed with prediabetes, your blood sugars do not reach the threshold to confirm the diagnosis of fully-established diabetes. It is considered prediabetes when:
- Fasting blood sugar levels are between 100 to 125 mg/dL
- HbA1c of 5.6 – 6.4%.
- OGTT (checks for blood glucose levels two hours after consuming a drink containing 75 gm glucose): 140- 199 mg/dL
Prediabetes is the silent precursor of diabetes in which blood sugar levels are higher than normal but not high enough to be called type 2 diabetes. And if you don’t take it seriously, prediabetes can progress to type 2 diabetes.
- Preventing diabetes is crucial, especially for people with a strong family history of diabetes, obesity and other health conditions like high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart problems, PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome), etc.
- Although certain factors, such as your age, gender, etc., cannot be changed, there are many steps you can take towards preventing diabetes.
For example, losing weight if you are overweight or obese, making healthier eating choices, reducing stress levels, and exercising regularly can prevent diabetes.
- By making a few changes to your lifestyle, you can prevent diabetes–related issues, such as damage to the nerves, kidneys, and heart.
To prevent diabetes, it would be best to get diabetes-specific lifestyle guidance from diabetologists and other experts.
Here are the 5 best ways for Diabetes Prevention
1. Lose extra weight if you’re overweight
The majority of the people diagnosed with prediabetes have excess fat around their midsection (belly fat) and abdominal organs like the liver. This fat, called visceral fat, significantly increases your insulin resistance and your risk for diabetes.
By opting for a low-carb, low-calorie diet, switching to healthy fats, cutting down on sugar and processed food items, and doing regular workouts, you can lose weight which will help prevent from diabetes. Regular exercising not only helps you to lose weight but also improves your insulin sensitivity.
To prevent type 2 diabetes, you should aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise 5 days a week, totalling at least 150 minutes weekly. You can try brisk walking, swimming, biking, running, jogging, dancing, and more.
Do you know?
2. Quit your sedentary lifestyle and get moving
To prevent diabetes, it is essential to get physically active. Research has also shown that people with a sedentary lifestyle have a higher risk of developing diabetes.
This is particularly true in the younger population (people younger than 35 years of age). A few simple things that you can do to keep yourself active throughout the day are –
- Stand up from your desk and walk around.
- Stand or walk around while talking on the phone.
- If you are watching television, get up and move in every ad break.
- Breaking the posture, i.e, transitioning from sitting to standing and vice versa after every 45-60 minutes, is helpful not just for blood sugar control but also prevents postural aches and pains.
- Set time limits on your sedentary activities, like your screen time on the phone, laptop, TV, etc.
3. Eliminate refined carbs, sugars, and processed foods from your diet
Consuming foods high in refined carbs and sugars causes an instantaneous spike in your blood sugars. To compensate, your body releases insulin to bring the blood sugars back within the normal range.
If you continue consuming these high sugary foods, over time, your body may have higher insulin levels which will later progress to diabetes. Therefore, to prevent diabetes, you must reduce your intake of foods with a high glycemic index (foods with high GI cause a sudden spike in blood sugars).
Instead, it would be best to opt for unprocessed foods which are rich in dietary fibre such as non-starchy vegetables, legumes, whole grains, citrus fruits, etc.
4. Swap to healthy fats
Since fatty foods are high in calories, you should consume them in moderation. Saturated fats are the ‘bad fats’ that should form a negligible part of your diet. Examples of saturated fats are ghee, coconut, ice cream, red meat, whole milk, and its products.
Swapping saturated fats with unsaturated fats would be one of the best ways to prevent diabetes. A few sources of unsaturated fats include fatty fish, nuts and seeds, olive oil, mustard and canola oils.
5. Opt for personalized Diabetes Care Program
A few scientific studies have proved that personalized health coaching involving dietary modifications, exercise routines and expert guidance may help prevent the progression of prediabetes to diabetes. To prevent type 2 diabetes, it would be best if you get diabetes-specific lifestyle guidance under an exclusive program like Fitterfly’s Diabetes Care Program.
Fitterfly Diabetes Care Program is designed and formulated by India’s top Endocrinologists, Diabetologists, Nutritionists, Diabetes Educators, and many other specialists like Physiotherapists & Psychologists to offer personalized coaching to help you make healthy, long-lasting habits.
After closely monitoring your daily lifestyle, our Diabetes Prime coaches design nutrition and exercise plans customized to your needs and wants.
In addition, it is curated according to your health conditions like high blood pressure, thyroid problems, heart problems, food allergies, arthritis, or any other health condition.
If your prediabetes condition is stressing you out then #WorryNot – Discover how to control prediabetes and achieve complete remission by eating healthy, managing stress, improving your sleep quality, adding appropriate physical activity into your day and much more with the 6-12 month Fiterfly Diabetes Care program.
To learn more about Fitterfly Diabetes Care Program and how it can help you intelligently take control of your diabetes, speak to one of our counselors by just giving us a missed call at 08069450746, and we will definitely get back to you.
Wish to know more? Sign up for our program.
FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions
How can diabetes be prevented?
Diabetes can be prevented by making lifestyle changes such as maintaining a healthy weight, being physically active, and eating a healthy diet.
Why is it important to prevent diabetes?
As there is a growing prevalance of diabetes worldwide, especially in India, preventing diabetes is important because type 2 diabetes is a serious, chronic health condition that can lead to other serious health issues such as heart disease, stroke, blindness, and kidney failure. If you can prevent or even delay getting type 2 diabetes, you can lower your risk for all those other conditions.
Which foods prevent diabetes?
There are certain foods that are linked to reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes. Here are some examples: 1) Vegetables such as leafy greens, broccoli, and cauliflower 2) Fruits such as apples, berries, and citrus fruits 3) Legumes 4) Nuts 5) Whole grains. Overall, making healthy lifestyle choices such as maintaining a healthy weight, being physically active, and eating a healthy diet can help prevent most cases of type 2 diabetes.