The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) suggests these steps to prevent or control type 2 diabetes:
- Reach and maintain a reasonable body weight—Losing even a few pounds can help reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes because it helps your body use insulin more effectively. People who lose between 5 and 7 percent of their body weight significantly reduce their risk of type 2 diabetes. For example, if you weigh 200 pounds, losing only 10 pounds could make a difference.
- Avoid crash diets. Instead, eat less of the foods you usually have. Limit the amount of fat you eat.
- Increase your physical activity. Aim for at least 30 minutes of exercise most days of the week.
- Set a reasonable weight-loss goal, such as losing 1 pound a week.
- Take a hard look at the serving sizes of
the foods you eat. Reduce serving sizes of main courses (such as meat), desserts and foods high in fat. Increase the amount of fruits and vegetables. Limit your fat intake to about 25 percent of your total calories. Your doctor or dietitian can help you with a meal plan that emphasizes weight loss.
- Keep a food and exercise log. Write down what you eat, how much you exercise—anything that helps keep you on track.
- Take your prescribed medications. Some people need medication to help control their blood pressure or cholesterol levels. If you do, take your medicines as directed. Ask your doctor whether there are any medicines you can take to prevent type 2 diabetes
Read More "A Relentless Illness—Fighting Diabetes" Articles
Fall 2006 Issue: Volume 1 Number 1 Page 12