Diabetes! You may have wondered if it is staring at you at the end of every extra bowl of ice cream, every skipped visit to the gym, or every time you get down from the weighing scale. 

Diabetes is one of the most prevalent diseases in the world, and every passing year leaves behind a worrying global statistic. 

The good news is that type 2 diabetes is preventable to a large extent. Preventing the disease assumes greater significance if your risk of getting it is higher. Such a risk arises if you are overweight, inactive, or if there is a family history of the disease.

Let’s look at 10 easy tips that can help prevent diabetes.

Tips to Prevent Diabetes

1. Be more active: An active lifestyle including lots of movement and exercise can help you lose extra weight, keep your blood sugar levels in check, and boost insulin sensitivity. 

Choose a physical activity that you enjoy and be consistent with it. 

2. Keep your weight in check: Adopt a healthy diet and exercise regularly to maintain your weight in the recommended range. 

Being overweight or obese is the most common cause of type 2 diabetes. 

3. Stop smoking: Smoking leaves you vulnerable to diabetes and the many complications that come with it. 

Consult your doctor for guidance on how to stop smoking or using tobacco in other forms.

4. Consume lots of fibre: Include fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts, and whole grains in your diet as these have a high fibre content. 

Fibre helps improve blood sugar levels by slowing down the rate at which sugar from food is absorbed by your body. 

It also keeps your gut healthy and helps you feel full for a longer duration.

5. Keep your blood pressure and cholesterol under check: High blood pressure and abnormal cholesterol levels are risk factors for type 2 diabetes. Keep a tab on these parameters.  

Healthy eating coupled with regular exercise can help control blood pressure and cholesterol levels. You might also need to take medicines as prescribed by your doctor.

6. Go for regular diabetes tests: Apart from a general health checkup, get your blood sugar levels tested at least twice a year. 

This step can help detect any early signs of diabetes and you can take preventive measures right away. 

7. Ignore fad diets and watch your portion size: Do not blindly adopt diets that are extremely low on carbohydrates or fats. Consult your doctor before you consider any diet. 

It is not clear if these diets can help prevent diabetes and what their long-term effects are. Opt for a variety of healthy and wholesome foods in your diet while keeping the portion size in mind.

8. Avoid excess sugar and processed foods: Several studies show a link between the frequent consumption of sugar or refined carbohydrates and the increased risk of type 2 diabetes. Avoid food and drink items with added sugar. 

Also avoid processed food such as processed meat products, cakes, pastries, etc. Choose foods with whole grains and healthy fats.

9. Consume alcohol responsibly: Excess alcohol intake increases the risk of type 2 diabetes. 

If you are a regular drinker, keep your alcohol intake modest.

10. Tackle stress: Research suggests that high levels of stress lead to an increased risk of type 2 diabetes. Further, stress could make you adopt unhealthy lifestyle habits such as smoking and drinking, which also contribute to the increased risk of diabetes.

Plan your day to keep your stress under check and prioritize the tasks to perform. Learn relaxation techniques such as meditation and yoga and get plenty of sleep. If these steps do not help, seek advice from a mental health professional. 

Disclaimer: This article is written by the Practitioner for informational and educational purposes only. The content presented on this page should not be considered as a substitute for medical expertise. Please "DO NOT SELF-MEDICATE" and seek professional help regarding any health conditions or concerns. Practo will not be responsible for any act or omission arising from the interpretation of the content present on this page.