Piggybacking the obesity epidemic, diabetes rates continue to surge. One-fourth of people don’t know that they have diabetes, a scary fact, given the complications of chronic high blood sugar: heart attack, stroke, sight-robbing eye disease, kidney failure, foot amputation. The vast majority of cases are type 2 diabetes, a condition characterized by insulin resistance, meaning cells fail to respond to insulin. The good news is type 2 diabetes is largely preventable.
Tips to help reduce your risk:
Lifestyle Modification - Lifestyle modification could reduce the risk of diabetes by 30-67%. Lifestyle modification can decrease diabetes risk by about 58% among subjects with pre-diabetes. These modifications consist of physical activity and changes in dietary habits.
Lose excess body fat - Being overweight is a big risk factor for diabetes. It makes you 20 to 40 times more likely to develop diabetes than someone with a healthy weight. Shedding even 10 pounds can significantly slash your risk. 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 beverages with obesity and diabetes. Cut them out of your diet and the risk of both conditions falls.