Prevent Diabetes

What’s your blood sugar level?

There’s only one way to find out. Get a basic blood test.

It’s a simple way to find out if you’re at risk for a serious chronic disease that’s one of the leading causes of death in the United States and costs more than $330 billion a year in medical care.

Diabetes.

Did you know about 34 million adults in the United States have diabetes? Another 88 million have pre-diabetes, but most don’t even know it.

The Trouble with Diabetes

Here’s the thing. Left unchecked, diabetes causes high blood sugar levels and insulin resistance, and it can lead to:

  • Stroke
  • Blindness
  • Heart disease
  • Kidney failure
  • Poor circulation
  • Nerve damage
  • Amputation of limbs
  • And other serious health problems

But it’s largely preventable. Some research shows diabetes is even reversible with surgery, diet, exercise, and lifestyle interventions.1

The Risk-Factor Checklist for Type 2 Diabetes

Are you at risk for type 2 diabetes?

If you are, the sooner you find out, the sooner you can take steps to prevent or reverse the disease.

Risk factors for developing type 2 diabetes include:2

  • Too much body fat (73 percent of adults are overweight or obese)
  • Age 45 or older
  • A family history of diabetes
  • High blood pressure (Half of all adults have elevated or high blood pressure)
  • High triglyceride levels
  • Low HDL (good) cholesterol levels
  • Not physically active (Only 20 percent of adults get enough exercise)
  • History of heart disease or stroke
  • History of depression
  • Diabetes during pregnancy
  • History of polycystic ovary syndrome
  • Smoking
  • Poor eating habits
  • Race and ethnicity: African American, Hispanic/Latino, American Indian, Pacific Islander, Asian American

If you have any of these risk factors, talk to your doctor about getting tested for type 2 diabetes.

7 Ways to Prevent, Manage & Reverse Diabetes

Want to prevent, reverse, or control diabetes?

“Type 2 diabetes can be prevented, arrested, or even reversed with a plant-based diet,” says Dr. Michael Greger.” It’s one of the most effective ways to keep blood glucose and insulin levels in check.3

But it’s not the only way. Healthy habits to prevent diabetes include:

1. Lose weight or maintain a healthy weight. About 73 percent of all adults in the U.S. are overweight or obese. Losing even 10 to 15 pounds can greatly cut your risk of diabetes.

2. Don’t smoke, or quit if you do. Research shows smokers have a 30 to 40 percent higher risk of diabetes than non-smokers.4

3. Be more active – 30 to 60 minutes each day. Breaking it up into shorter 10 to 15 minute sessions will help.

4. Eat healthy fats. Skip saturated fats and trans fats found in butter, sour cream, red meat, and processed foods. Instead, eat more healthy fats found in nuts, seeds, avocados, and olive oil.

5. Follow a plant-based diet. Eat more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds.

Why? These foods are low in calories and high in nutrients, and help regulate blood glucose levels.

Junk foods like sugary snacks, and white bread are high in calories and cause rapid changes in blood sugar levels.

6. Drink more water. One large study found that replacing just one sugar-sweetened drink per day with water may lower the risk for type 2 diabetes by 14 to 25 percent.5

7. Get a blood test. The best way to find out if you’re at risk for type 2 diabetes is an A1C blood test. This measures blood glucose levels over a three-month period. Ask your doctor about this test. Once you know where you’re at, you’ll have info to help you make any necessary changes to your diet and lifestyle to prevent type 2 diabetes.

Want to live longer, feel better and be healthier? Adopt these healthy lifestyle habits to prevent diabetes.

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