Tip 4: Lose extra weight
If you’re overweight, diabetes prevention may hinge on weight loss. Every pound you lose can improve your health, and you may be surprised by how much. Participants in one large study who lost a modest amount of weight — around 7 percent of initial body weight — and exercised regularly reduced the risk of developing diabetes by almost 60 percent.
Excess weight is the single most important cause of type 2 diabetes. Being overweight increases the chances of developing type 2 diabetes seven fold. Being obese makes you 20 to 40 times more likely to develop diabetes than someone with a healthy weight. (8 )
Losing weight can help if your weight is above the healthy-weight range. Losing 7 to 10 percent of your current weight can cut your chances of developing type 2 diabetes in half.
Tip 5: Skip fad diets and just make healthier choices
Low-carb diets, the glycemic index diet or other fad diets may help you lose weight at first, but their effectiveness at preventing diabetes isn’t known nor are their long-term effects. And by excluding or strictly limiting a particular food group, you may be giving up essential nutrients. Instead, think variety and portion control as part of an overall healthy-eating plan.
1. Choose whole grains and whole grain products over highly processed carbohydrates.
2. Skip the sugary drinks, and choose water, coffee, or tea instead.
3. Choose good fats instead of bad fats.
4. Limit red meat and avoid processed meat; choose nuts, whole grains, poultry, or fish instead.
When to see your doctor
If you’re older than age 45 and your weight is normal, ask your doctor if diabetes testing is appropriate for you. The American Diabetes Association recommends blood glucose screening if:
You’re age 45 or older and overweight
You’re younger than age 45 and overweight with one or more additional risk factors for type 2 diabetes — such as a sedentary lifestyle or a family history of diabetes.