7 tips to prevent Type 2 diabetes
How to lower your risk
Lite n’ Easy dietitian Ashleigh Jones shares some important health tips to help prevent developing Type 2 diabetes.
Many Australians are at risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. Your chances of developing it depends on a combination of risk factors, such as your genes and lifestyle. It’s especially important to make the prevention of diabetes a priority if you are currently overweight or obese, or you have a family history of diabetes.
The good news is that Type 2 diabetes is largely preventable. And eating a healthy, balanced diet, and becoming more physically active can go a long way in preventing or delaying the onset of Type 2 diabetes. Incorporate these tips into your life, and you’ll not only lower your risk of Type 2 diabetes and other lifestyle diseases, but chances are you’ll feel better and have more energy too.
1. Manage your weight (and keep it off)
Being overweight is one of the biggest contributing factors to the development of Type 2 diabetes. Excess body fat, especially if it sits around the stomach and abdomen, can increase insulin resistance. Having a healthy BMI can significantly reduce your chances of developing Type 2 diabetes.
2. Exercise regularly
Moderate physical activity on most days of the week helps manage weight, control your blood glucose levels and to ensure healthy blood pressure and cholesterol. Experiment with exercise you enjoy, and you can sustain for the long term.
3. Eat a healthy, balanced diet
Now, this is a non-negotiable. Eating a balanced, healthy diet is critical to preventing Type 2 diabetes. Choose protein sources such as lean meats, fish, eggs, and dairy products. Include healthy fats such as nuts, olive oil and avocado, and whole-grain or low GI carbohydrate sources such as multigrain bread, rice, sweet potatoes and pasta. And don’t forget to include fruit and plenty of non-starchy vegetables, which are so crucial for keeping you full and healthy. Following a healthy eating plan like Lite n’ Easy can ensure you’re getting having a balanced diet.
4. Limit takeaway and processed foods
It’s important to reduce the amount of saturated fat in your diet. Many takeaway and convenience are packed full of saturated fat, salt and calories, so it’s best to avoid these and only have them as an occasional treat. Opt for healthier options when dining out, such as grilled fish and salad or meals that have plenty of vegetables. If you’re busy, look at other ways to organise your meals for the week like healthy, ready made meals.
5. Cut back on alcohol
Drinking too much alcohol can not only lead to extra weight gain, but it can also increase your blood pressure. Look at cutting back on alcohol, and only having it on special occasions. Incorporate other non-alcoholic beverages into your lifestyle such as sparkling water with a squeeze of lime, or investigate some fun, low-sugar mocktails to impress your friends. Drinking plenty of water is also important, so make your water bottle your best friend and take it everywhere.
6. Get enough sleep and control stress
It’s well known that a lack of sleep has serious impacts on your general health and well-being. Getting enough sleep every night is important to regulate your hormone levels, and ongoing sleep deprivation can have negative impacts on your blood sugar levels. People who are regularly tired will often experience cravings for “junk” food, which is your body’s way of trying to find other sources of energy. This can lead to consuming unhealthy foods that can spike your blood sugar levels. Managing stress by controlled breathing exercises, yoga and meditation can help control your blood glucose levels.
7. Regular check ups
As we get older, it’s important to see the doctor as additional risk factors can increase with age. Getting your blood glucose, blood pressure, and your cholesterol checked regularly is essential to stay in control of any issues.
Our meal plans provide a nutritionally-balanced, convenient, healthy diet that has a regular meal pattern. The Lite n’ Easy menu provides balanced nutrients from all food groups and regular meal spacing. We recommend consulting with your doctor or an Accredited Practising Dietitian (APD) for personal advice. Give us a call on 13 15 12 or click here to order now.
Ashleigh Jones is an Accredited Practising Dietitian with extensive dietetics experience working across hospitals, corporate health, private practice and the food industry. A published researcher, she has collaborated actively across several disciplines including genetics, multiple sclerosis and sports nutrition. Ashleigh specialises in endocrine disorders with particular interest in weight management, pituitary and thyroid disorders, and management of diabetes. Ashleigh is passionate about promoting healthy habits, especially for busy people and offers simple and sustainable nutrition solutions.