Diabetes is a chronic disease that affects millions of people worldwide. Uncontrolled cases can cause blindness, renal failure, heart disease and other serious conditions. Before diabetes is diagnosed, there is a period in which blood sugar levels are high, but not high enough to diagnose diabetes. This period is called prediabet. It is estimated that 70% of patients with prediabetes are later diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. Fortunately, it is possible to prevent the transition from prediabetes to diabetes. There are many ways to reduce the risk of diabetes, although there are some factors that cannot be changed, such as genes, age, or past habits. Here are some of those ways.
Cut Sugar from your Diet
Consuming sugary foods increases this risk for people at risk of diabetes. Refined carbohydrates and sugar break down rapidly and participate in the bloodstream. The increase in blood sugar triggers the production of insulin, a hormone that aids in the use of sugar in the pancreas and in the body’s cells. In prediabetic patients, body cells are resistant to insulin secretion, so sugar remains high in the blood. To prevent this, the pancreas tries to produce more insulin and reduce the blood sugar level to a healthy level. This can lead to progressively higher blood sugar and insulin levels until the individual is diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. Many studies have shown a link between frequent sugar consumption and refined carbohydrate consumption and diabetes risk. Therefore, replacing these foods with foods that are less effective on blood sugar helps to reduce your risk. A detailed analysis of 37 studies revealed that people with high refined carbohydrate consumption had a 40% higher risk of diabetes than those with low consumption.
Do Regular Exercise
Regular physical activity helps prevent diabetes. Exercise increases insulin sensitivity of cells. Therefore, when exercising, less insulin is required to keep blood sugar levels under control. In a study of people with prediabetes, moderate exercise increased insulin sensitivity by 51% and high intensity exercise increased by 85%. However, this effect only appeared on exercise days. Many types of physical activity have been shown to reduce insulin resistance and blood sugar in overweight, obese, and prediabetic adults. These include aerobic exercise, endurance training and strength training. Exercising more often leads to improvements in insulin function. In a study of individuals at risk for diabetes, it was found that burning more than 2,000 calories per week through exercise leads to an increase in insulin function. Therefore, it is necessary to do physical activity regularly.
Drink Water Regularly
Water is the most natural drink that can be preferred. Drinking water instead of other beverages helps you avoid drinks that contain sugar, preservatives and other additives. Sweetened drinks such as cola are associated with both type 2 diabetes and latent autoimmune diabetes (LADA) risk. LADA is a type of diabetes that occurs in people over the age of 18. Unlike acute symptoms of type 1 diabetes in childhood, LADA is slowly progressing and requires more treatment as the disease progresses. An observational study looked at the risk of diabetes for 2800 people. People who consume more than two servings of sugary drinks every day have an increased risk of developing LADA by 99% and an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 20%. A study of the effects of sugary drinks on diabetes indicated that neither artificial sweeteners nor fruit juice are a good option for diabetes prevention. In contrast, consuming water is beneficial. In some studies, it has been found that when water consumption is increased, blood sugar control is improved and insulin secretion is regulated. 24-week study showed that overweight adults who consume water instead of diet coke following a weight loss program have improved insulin resistance, improved fasting blood sugar and insulin levels.
Providing Weight Loss in Overweight or Obese Individuals
Although all individuals with type 2 diabetes are not overweight or obese, weight is the main risk factor. Moreover, prediabetes patients have excess fat in the abdomen and abdominal organs such as the liver. These oils are known as visceral oils. Excess visceral fat significantly increases the risk of diabetes. It also causes an increase in inflammation and insulin resistance. There are many healthy options to lose weight, including low-carb diets, Mediterranean, paleo and vegetarian diets. However, a long-term diet program should be implemented to help maintain weight loss. In another study, obese individuals whose blood sugar and insulin levels normalized after gaining weight increased these values after recovering some or all of their lost weight.
Smoking has been shown to cause many serious health problems such as heart disease, emphysema and cancer of the lungs, breasts, prostates and the digestive system. Smoking and passive smoking are associated with type 2 diabetes. An analysis of several studies conducted on more than a million people found that smoking increased the risk of diabetes by 44% of daily smokers and 30% in people who smoked more than 20 cigarettes daily. Another study investigated the risk of diabetes after quitting smoking in middle-aged smokers. After five years, the risk decreased by 13% and after 20 years, the same risk was found for non-smokers. In the studies, it was stated that most of the male individuals have less risk of diabetes than those who continue to smoke after non-smoking years although they gain weight after smoking cessation.
Follow a Very-Low Carbohydrate Diet
Following a very low carbohydrate diet can help eliminate the risk of diabetes. Although there are many types of diets that help to lose weight, very low carb diets have been proven to reduce the risk of diabetes. Such diets have been shown to lower blood sugar and insulin levels, increase insulin sensitivity, and reduce other diabetes risk factors. In a 12-week study, prediabetic subjects were given either a low-fat or low-carbohydrate diet. In the low carbohydrate group, blood sugar decreased by 12% and insulin by 50%. In addition, in the low-fat group, blood sugar decreased by only 1% and insulin decreased by 19%. As a result, low-carb diets give better results. When carbohydrate intake is reduced, your blood sugar level does not increase much after eating. For this reason, the body needs less insulin to maintain blood sugar levels. In addition, very low carbohydrate can also reduce fasting blood sugar.
Optimize Vitamin D Levels
Vitamin D is very important for blood sugar control. Studies have found that people who do not take adequate vitamin D or have low blood levels are at greater risk of developing any type of diabetes. Most health organizations recommend keeping a vitamin D blood level of at least 30 ng / ml (75 nmol / l). One study found that people with high vitamin D levels develop 43% less type 2 diabetes than those with low vitamin D levels. Another observational study looked at children who received adequate levels of vitamin D supplements. Children taking vitamin D supplements have a 78% lower risk of developing type 1 diabetes than children with less than the recommend amount of vitamin D. People with vitamin D deficiency have been shown to improve the function of insulin-producing cells when they use vitamin D supplements, normalize their blood sugar levels and significantly reduce the risk of diabetes. Good food sources of vitamin D include fatty fish and cod liver oil. In addition, exposure to the sun increases the level of vitamin D in the blood. However, for most people, a daily supplement of 2,000-4,000 IU of vitamin D is sufficient to achieve optimal levels.
Minimize your Intake of Processed Foods
One of the clear steps to improve your health is to minimize the consumption of processed foods. Processed foods are associated with all kinds of health problems such as heart disease, obesity and diabetes. Research suggests that reducing packaged foods high from vegetable oils, refined sugar and additives can reduce the risk of diabetes. One study found that high diets from processed foods increased the risk of diabetes by 30% compared to low diets. However, foods with high nutritional value have been found to help reduce this risk.
Drink Coffee and Tea
Although water is included in the diet as a primary beverage, research has shown that the addition of coffee or tea to the diet helps to avoid diabetes. Studies have reported that drinking coffee on a daily basis reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes by 8-54% and has the most effect on the most affected people. Many studies of tea and coffee have shown that the risk of diabetes is reduced in women and in overweight men. Coffee and tea contain antioxidants known as polyphenols, which can be protective against diabetes. In addition, green tea contains a unique antioxidant compound called epigallocatechin, which has been shown to reduce blood sugar release and increase insulin sensitivity from the liver.