3 Potential New Tactics for Preventing Diabetes
If you like to follow the latest trends, here's one you should skip: More Americans are being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. This serious disease already affects nearly 26 million people in the U.S. Fortunately, you can do a lot to protect yourself. Proven tactics include regular exercise and a healthy diet. Recent research also points to three other possible ways to help prevent type 2 diabetes.
Watch what you drink
Packing your plate with healthy foods - fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat dairy - lowers your risk for type 2 diabetes. But don't forget about your beverage cup. In a recent study, researchers analyzed the drinking habits of more than 113,000 people. Those who drank more coffee had a lower chance of developing type 2 diabetes. Drinking more sugar-sweetened beverages, though, seemed to raise risk.
Don't like coffee? Try black tea. A recent study looked at the link between black tea consumption worldwide and various health conditions, such as diabetes, cancer, and heart disease. The results suggest that drinking more black tea may help prevent type 2 diabetes.
Begin with breakfast
You probably heard this adage growing up: Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. That may be especially true when it comes to preventing diabetes. A recent study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition tracked the eating habits of more than 29,000 men. Researchers found that study participants who skipped breakfast had a 50 percent higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Along with a healthy breakfast, you can further prevent diabetes by watching your portion sizes. Use smaller plates to make less food look like more. And take your time eating. By giving your body more time to digest, you'll feel fuller sooner.
Don't stay seated
According to recent research, too much sitting during the day - spent watching TV or working at a desk, for instance - may increase your risk for type 2 diabetes, even if you exercise. A small study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine found that women who sat more, regardless if they exercised, had higher levels of inflammation and other key indicators for diabetes in their blood. Interestingly, the same results were not seen in men. But a larger study following the sitting habits of more than 11,000 Mexican-Americans found that people who sat for more than four hours a day were more likely to have diabetes. They were also more apt to be obese.
Experts recommend you exercise for at least 30 minutes on most days of the week. But be sure to fill every day with plenty of movement. Here are some tips for staying off your seat:
Walk to a colleague's office instead of sending email.
If you take the bus, exit a few stops early to stretch your legs more.
Fit in a walk during your lunch break.
While watching TV, jog in place.
Certain risk factors, such as being overweight, increase your chance of developing type 2 diabetes. Learn more about your risk for this disease with this interactive assessment tool.
Always talk with your health care provider to find out more information.
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American Diabetes Association - Prevention
National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse - Diabetes Overview