How to Reduce Your Risk for Type 2 Diabetes

According to the American Diabetes Association, 30.3 million Americans live with diabetes. Surprisingly, about 7.2 million patients with the disease haven’t been diagnosed.

In honor of National Diabetes Month, Dr. Vincent Maribao wants you to know how you can reduce your risk for type 2 diabetes. It will probably require some lifestyle changes, but you can lower your risk.

Get Plenty of Exercise

Most Americans don’t get enough exercise. Less than 5% of American adults get 30 minutes of physical activity per day. A sedentary lifestyle puts you at a significant risk of getting type 2 diabetes.

You should get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise per week. You can meet that goal by taking walks, jogging, riding a bike, or joining a fitness class.

If you find it exercise difficult, try to walk at least 10 minutes at a time. After 10 minutes, feel free to take a break. As long as you meet the 150-minute goal, your health will improve over time.

Eat a Plant-Based Diet

Eating a whole food, plant-based diet means that you won’t put as many calories and fats in your body. For best results, you should eliminate all animal products and processed foods from your diet. Very few vegans (people who don’t eat any animal products) get type 2 diabetes.

If that seems a bit extreme for you, then focus on limiting the amount of animal products and processed foods that you eat. For instance, you can try restricting meat and dairy to one meal per day. Any change in the right direction will improve your overall health and help you avoid type 2 diabetes.

Choose Water Over Sweet Drinks

A 12-ounce of cola contains 39 grams of sugar. A 20-ounce cola contains 65 grams. All of that sugar puts you on the fast track to diabetes.

Instead of drinking sweetened beverages, have water throughout the day. You’ll improve your hydration and lower your risk of type 2 diabetes.

Don’t Use Tobacco Products

You may not see a connection between tobacco products and type 2 diabetes. Researchers, however, have discovered that the nicotine in tobacco products alters the way your body processes sugar. When you use nicotine, the chemical can change your cells, making it difficult for them to respond to insulin. That situation causes your blood sugar to skyrocket.

Tobacco harms your body in countless ways. If you need help quitting, Dr. Maribao can teach you ways to stop the habit. You may even need medications that lower cravings and improve your chances of success.

Find a Way to Lower Your Stress

Stress can cause an increase in your blood glucose level. A little stress won’t hurt you. Long-term stress, however, can prevent your body from processing sugar correctly. Eventually, you can develop type 2 diabetes.

You can manage your stress by:

If you have chronic stress, then you may need to see a counselor. Dr. Maribao can recommend a local counselor with experience in treating the symptoms of anxiety, depression, and other mental health conditions that can cause stress.

Leading a healthy lifestyle is the best way to avoid type 2 diabetes. Schedule an appointment with Dr. Vincent Maribao to get your blood sugar tested, and learn more about how you can reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes.

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