by Tracey Pollack
Type 2 diabetes is one condition you can’t ignore. As the most common type of diabetes, it can develop at any time in your life when your body has trouble producing insulin and controlling your blood sugar level. Luckily, the condition can be prevented with some healthy lifestyle changes. But if you’re diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, know that it isn’t all your fault. The condition is largely a numbers game based on your lifestyle and health. While some of these factors are in your control, some of them simply aren’t, such as genetics and medical history. While your doctor may recommend certain medications, the one thing that’s certain is that you will need to keep checking your blood sugar level to keep it from spiking or dropping. When it comes to managing type 2 diabetes, these steps to help prevent it can also help you feel in control while you keep the condition that way.
1. Level Out Your Diet
If your diet is full of fats, sugar and calories, it’s time to balance out your eating habits to keep your blood sugar under control. Fill up your meals and snacks with non-starchy vegetables, fruit, high-fiber whole grains, lean meats and poultry, fish, beans, eggs and low-sugar dairy products. Serve these healthy foods with water, unsweetened beverages, coffee or tea. Just as important as the foods you add are the ones you should avoid, such as sugary drinks and snacks, processed foods, salt, alcohol and trans fats.
2. Tip the Scales in Your Favor
Did you know that you’re more likely to develop type 2 diabetes if you’re overweight? But by simply losing 5 to 10 percent of your current body weight, you can count on a number of benefits, from lower blood sugar to higher energy and confidence.
3. Exercise Your Options
Regular workouts can work wonders when it comes to preventing or managing type 2 diabetes. Enjoying moderate physical activity a few days a week can help reduce your blood sugar level, as well as control your weight and improve your overall health. All of these can help you prevent or manage the condition, which is reason enough to fit in more fitness.
4. Stomp Out Smoking
If you’re a smoker, now is the time to pack it in. Not only does smoking make you more likely to develop type 2 diabetes, but it can also make it harder to manage your blood sugar level. Whether you choose to quit cold turkey or slowly stop lighting up, your doctor can help you develop a plan that works for you. This is one time that you can be proud to be a quitter!
5. Check In for Check-Ups
Whether you’re trying to manage type 2 diabetes or prevent the condition in the first place, make sure to see your doctor on a regular basis as you get older. See, type 2 diabetes doesn’t usually develop overnight, but the warning signs slowly appear and only your doctor can detect them. These visits will allow your doctor to check your blood sugar, blood pressure and cholesterol levels, as well as help you make healthy choices into lifestyle changes.
As you can see, you can both manage your blood sugar and reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes by taking healthy living to the next level.