6 Ways to Reduce Your Diabetes Risk
Cut your risk of type 2 diabetes with these lifestyle changes. By Ng Wan Ching
Photo: Adrianna Calvo / www.pexels.com
Pre-diabetes, where one's blood sugar level is higher than normal but not yet high enough to be classified as type 2 diabetes, could become the dreaded condition in eight years or less without intervention. And that is not all. Those who are pre-diabetic are also at greater risk of developing heart disease or stroke. The good news is that the onset of type 2 diabetes can be prevented or at least delayed with lifestyle intervention.
The Health Promotion Board has lifestyle intervention tips on how to reduce, by half, the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
1. EAT HEALTHY
Local diets contain largely refined carbohydrate foods such as white rice, white bread and noodles, which have been linked to an increased risk of type 2 diabetes. Cut down on refined carbohydrates and opt for wholegrains which are rich in fibre, vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals (beneficial plant substances). They have a low glycemic index to slow the spike in blood glucose level and keep you feeling full longer to minimise snacking and weight gain.
Also cut down on sugar, especially in sweetened drinks, another significant source of empty calories, which will lead to weight gain and high blood sugar levels.
2. EXERCISE MORE
About four in 10 of the people here aged 18 to 69 years do not exercise enough, according to the National Health Survey 2010. Moderate-intensity exercise of 150 minutes per week is recommended.
There is a positive relationship between physical activity and prevention of type 2 diabetes. Accumulating the recommended amount of physical activity per week can reduce high blood pressure and lower blood choles- terol levels.
A study has shown that it reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes by up to 58 per cent - especially among those at high risk of developing the disease, such as those with a family history of diabetes or who are overweight with a body mass index of 23 and above. It also helps to reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases and colon and breast cancers.
For an inactive adult who takes 3,000 to 5,000 steps a day, walking the recommended 7,500 to 10,000 steps daily has been shown to reduce high blood pressure, help with glucose control for those with type 2 diabetes, lower blood cholesterol levels and lead to a 19 per cent reduction in the risk of death from any cause.
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