Diabetes Prevention Tips
More than 1.9 million adults were diagnosed with diabetes in 2010, according to the American Diabetes Association. While more people are being diagnosed with diabetes every year, there are lifestyle modifications that can be made to reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes.
Mount Sinai diabetes specialists recommend the following small steps:
- Daily exercise: Just 30 minutes per day can reduce your risk for diabetes. Research from the National Institutes of Health found that exercising for 150 minutes a week can decrease the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 58 percent. Exercise will also help to control blood sugar, weight and cholesterol levels.
- Reducing your weight: Being overweight is a common cause of type 2 diabetes as it causes the body to become more resistant to insulin, a blood-lowering hormone. Reducing your weight by 5 to 7 percent can delay and prevent type 2 diabetes. Adults should try to keep their body mass index below 25.
- Limiting the intake of unhealthy fats: Foods that are high in trans fat and saturated fat contribute to heart disease and diabetes. These foods raise the blood cholesterol level and contribute to obesity, a common cause of type 2 diabetes, and can cause insulin resistance.
- Developing a healthy diet: In addition to avoiding foods high in fat, individuals should also avoid highly processed foods and items that contain a lot of sugar. Eating foods such as fruit and vegetables and lean protein will help to maintain a healthy weight.
- Know your numbers: Go to your primary care provider once per year to have your cholesterol, blood pressure and blood glucose checked every year.
- Finding out if you are at risk: You may be at risk for diabetes if you have impaired glucose tolerance and you have a family history of diabetes. Make an appointment with your doctor to discuss ways to improve your health and to ultimately prevent diabetes.
- If you are at risk: If you have a diagnosis or pre-diabetes or are at risk for diabetes (overweight of family history of diabetes), you are welcome to join Mount Sinai’s Diabetes Prevention Program.
November is American Diabetes Month. Help Mount Sinai fight diabetes on facebook by joining the conversation and liking our page.