As of this writing, there is no cure for type 2 diabetes. Prevention remains the best way to combat it for now. There are many ways to lower the risk of developing diabetes, and here are 5 science-based methods you can take into consideration.
Stop Eating Refined Carbs and Sugar
If your diet is rich in refined carbs and sugar, you should think about changing it. These foods increase insulin resistance and blood sugar levels, and they can lead to the onset of diabetes down the road.
A study published in 2013 inspected data from 175 countries to determine the link between type 2 diabetes and per capita sugar consumption. The researchers found that with every 150 kcal increase in sugar availability per person per day, diabetes prevalence increased by 1.1%.
A study published in 2004 examined the link between the intake of various types of foods and type 2 diabetes. While fibers had an impeding effect, processed carbs were found to increase the likelihood of type 2 diabetes.
Drink a Lot of Water
Switching to drinking mostly water might be a good idea if you’re concerned about type 2 diabetes. Carbonated drinks and sugary juices can cause your blood sugar levels to rise and increase insulin resistance.
A study published in 2016 looked into the effects of plain water on HbA1c. It was conducted in the UK with around 1,000 participants of both sexes and from various backgrounds. The researchers found that drinking water can lower blood sugar levels and it also helps regulate insulin responses.
Drink Coffee and Tea
Coffee and tea, aside from their immediate positive effects, also have long-lasting benefits on your health. They may also help prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes.
Numerous studies have found that regular intake of coffee can significantly lower the risk of type 2 diabetes. Depending on the research, the figure fluctuates between 8% and 54%. Generally, the more coffee you drink, the greater the anti-diabetic effect will be.
Green tea is rich in EGCG (epigallocatechin gallate), a potent antioxidant that can lower the release of blood sugar from the liver and boost your insulin sensitivity.
Maintain a Healthy Weight
The correlation between obesity and the onset of type 2 diabetes is well documented. Overweight and obese people run a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes than people of average weight.
A study published in September 2012 found a strong link between increased insulin resistance and excess visceral body fat on one side and the onset of pre-diabetes and type 2 diabetes on the other side.
Another study published in December 2013 found that weight loss in overweight and obese individuals significantly decreases their chances of developing pre-diabetes and type 2 diabetes.
Start Exercising Regularly
Regular and moderate physical activity can have countless benefits on your physical and mental health. It can also reduce your chances of contracting type 2 diabetes by increasing your body’s insulin sensitivity. When you exercise, your body needs less insulin to tame your blood sugar.
A study published in 2014 examined the effects of regular exercise on pre-diabetic patients. It was found that a moderate exercise regimen increases insulin sensitivity by 51%, while intense training increases it by an amazing 85%. In both cases, insulin resistance reverted to pre-workout levels the following day.
Start Making Changes Right Away
While certainly not complete, this list can give you a good idea where to start if you want to lower your chances of contracting type 2 diabetes.