How to Prevent Diabetes
In the United States, more than 30 million people live with diabetes—and every 23 seconds someone is diagnosed according to the American Diabetes Association.
Within PIH Health’s service area (Service Planning Area 7), the percentage of people living with diabetes is higher than the state and county rates.
Adults with Diagnosed Diabetes
Although there are certain factors you cannot change—such as your genes, age or past behaviors—there are several things you can do to reduce the risk of diabetes:
- Lose weight and keep it off. Many children and adults today are overweight. You may be able to prevent or delay diabetes by losing five to 10 percent of your current weight.
- Get regular exercise. Physical activity helps you lose weight and lower your blood sugar levels—both of which lower your risk of Type 2 diabetes.
- Eat healthy. Avoid sugary drinks, eat smaller portions, limit red meat and refined carbs, and focus on consuming less fat and sugar. You should also eat plenty of high-fiber foods, like whole grains, fruits and vegetables.
- Watch portion sizes. Eating too much food at one time has been shown to cause higher blood sugar and insulin levels in people at risk of diabetes.
- Drink water as your primary beverage. Avoid beverages that are high in sugar and preservatives. Sugary beverages like soda and punch have been linked to an increased risk of Type 2 diabetes.
- Don’t smoke. Smoking can contribute to insulin resistance, which can lead to Type 2 diabetes.
“Remember that these are lifestyle changes,” said Albert Bui MD, a double boarded internal medicine and geriatric medicine doctor at PIH Health Lambert medical office building. “It’s not something you do once in a while or for a short period of time. You must make it part of your everyday life.”
To find a PIH Health primary care physician, please visit PIHHealth.org/Find-a-Doctor.