World Diabetes Day is an initiative that addresses growing concerns about the increase in the cases of this lifestyle disease. Diabetes is a chronic condition in which the pancreas is unable to produce enough insulin or the body is not able to use insulin to its best ability.
Many cases of type 2 diabetes can be prevented by adopting a healthy lifestyle. Reducing your family’s risk starts at home.
When a family eats healthy meals and exercises together, all family members benefit and encourage behaviors that could help prevent type 2 diabetes in the family.
“Changing the habits of a lifetime isn’t easy, but it’s worth the effort.”
1. Check your risk of diabetes. Take the life risk assessment test and learn more about your risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
2. Manage your weight. Excess body fat, particularly if stored around the abdomen, can increase the body’s resistance to the hormone insulin. This can lead to type 2 diabetes.
3. Exercise regularly. Moderate physical activity on most days of the week helps manage weight, reduce blood glucose levels and may also improve blood pressure and cholesterol.
4. Eat a balanced, healthy diet. Reduce the amount of fat in your diet, especially saturated and trans fats. Eat more fruit, vegetables, and high-fiber foods. Cut back on salt.
5. Limit takeaway and processed foods. ‘Convenience meals’ are usually high in salt, fat. It’s best to cook for yourself using fresh ingredients whenever possible.
6. Limit your alcohol intake. Too much alcohol can lead to weight gain and may increase your blood pressure and triglyceride levels. Men should have no more than two standard drinks a day and women should have no more than one.
7. Quit smoking. Smokers are twice as likely to develop diabetes as non-smokers.
8. Control your blood pressure. Most people can do this with regular exercise, a balanced diet and by keeping a healthy weight. In some cases, you might need medication prescribed by your doctor.
9. Reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease. Diabetes and cardiovascular disease have many risk factors in common, including obesity and physical inactivity.
10. See your doctor for regular check-ups. As you get older, it’s a good idea to regularly check your blood glucose, blood pressure, and blood cholesterol levels.
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