“Keeping weight in check, being active, and eating a healthy diet can help prevent most cases of type 2 diabetes.” – Havard T. Chan, School of Public Health, 2020 (1).
It is estimated that the prevalence of diabetes will rise by 25% in 2030 (2). With an increased rate of diagnosis among adults, and children, quick and deliberate actions need to be adopted to nip this increasing diagnosis in the bud.
Up to 90% of type 2 diabetes is preventable by simply making lifestyle changes (1). These lifestyle changes do not only reduce the risk of developing diabetes but also other non-communicable diseases ie. Heart Diseases.
Simple steps to lower your risk of type 2 diabetes
Maintain a healthy weight: Being overweight or obese is one of the greatest risks of developing type 2 diabetes. When an individual who is overweight or obese loses 7-10% of their current weight, their risk of developing diabetes reduces by 50% (1). A waist circumference greater than 35 in women and 40 in men increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Engage in physical activity: The less active you are, the higher your risk of developing diabetes. Physical activity is beneficial to the body as it helps maintain a healthy weight and lowers the risk of heart diseases, stroke and diabetes. Results from the Nurses’ Health Study and Health Professionals Follow-up Study report that brisk walking for 30 minutes every day reduces a person’s risk of developing diabetes by 30% (1).
Eat a healthy diet: Eating a poor diet significantly increases the risk of developing diabetes. It is important to eat a healthy and balanced diet inclusive of fruits and vegetables, high-fibers and lean sources of protein such as fish. Avoid eating fatty, sugary and processed foods. Also cut back on salt. Let water be your primary beverage.
“Consuming foods high in vitamin D or taking supplements can help optimize vitamin D blood levels, which can reduce your risk of diabetes”. – Healthline, 2017
Tobacco and Alcohol use: Tobacco is the single, greatest preventable cause of death globally. Avoiding tobacco use significantly reduces the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. For those who smoke, there is an increased risk of developing diabetes up to 40% (3).
Fight it like you have it,
- 1 Havard T. Chan, School of Public Health (2020). Simple steps to preventing diabetes
- 2 Saeedi et al (2019). Global and regional diabetes prevalence estimates for 2019 and projections for 2030 and 2045: Results from the International Diabetes Federation Diabetes Atlas, 9th edition. DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.diabres.2019.107843
- 3 U.S Food and Drug Administration (2020). Cigarette Smoking: A Risk Factor for Type 2 Diabetes.
- Biofem Group, 2019.
- Better Health Channel, 2014.
- Healthline, 2017