facebook pixel How Can You Prevent Diabetes?
Site Search
< Blog Home < Healthy Living

How Can You Prevent Diabetes?

Experts say diabetes is preventable—learn what you can do to keep yourself healthy.

 Two runners standing by a rock outside stretching

More than 23 million Americans currently have diabetes, and it’s estimated that almost 6 million people are undiagnosed. People with diabetes typically suffer from insulin resistance or reduced insulin production—both of these issues result in high blood sugar. Why is high blood sugar an issue? Diabetes that isn’t controlled could lead to kidney failure, cardiovascular disease, limb amputation, and blindness.

Related: What Is Prediabetes?

Who’s at Risk for Diabetes?

The American Diabetes Association recommends testing for pre-diabetes and type 2 diabetes in adults who are overweight or obese and have one or more of the following risk factors:

  • Physically inactive
  • Having a parent or sibling with diabetes
  • High cholesterol or triglyceride levels
  • High blood pressure
  • History of cardiovascular disease
  • Family background of African American, Alaska Native, American Indian, Asian American, Hispanic/Latino, or Pacific Islander
  • Giving birth to a baby weighing more than 9 pounds or a diagnosis of gestational diabetes during pregnancy

How Can You Prevent Diabetes?

According to the American Diabetes Association, you can lower your risk of diabetes by eating a healthy diet, participating in regular physical activity, and quitting smoking.

This study done by the National Institutes of Health proved that millions of people at risk of diabetes can delay and even prevent the onset by losing a small amount of weight (5 to 7 percent of total body weight). Maintaining a healthy weight not only decreases your chances of diabetes, it helps prevent heart disease, high blood pressure, unhealthy cholesterol, and high blood sugar.

RelatedWhat's the Difference between Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes?

Making Healthy Choices

Small changes can have a dramatic effect on your health. If you aren’t physically active, consider starting out by walking for ten minutes at a time, twice a day. Then you can gradually increase the duration each time you walk—you might even find that you enjoy the exercise!

Focus on healthy things you can add to your diet instead of focusing on the things to avoid. Make it a goal to drink more water, add a veggie to each meal, or enjoy a piece of fruit as a snack. Your body will thank you in the long run.

What’s your favorite way to be active? Tell us in the comments.

SelectHealth may link to other websites for your convenience. SelectHealth does not expressly or implicitly recommend or endorse the views, opinions, specific services, or products referenced at other websites linked to the SelectHealth site, unless explicitly stated.

The content presented here is for your information only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, and it should not be used to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease. Please consult your healthcare provider if you have any questions or concerns.

You May Also Like...

Healthcare and Insurance Basics

Why Kids Need the Measles Vaccine

For parents: Here’s what you should know about the measles vaccine.

Nutrition and Diet

Jamaican Jerk Chicken with Mango Chile Relish

Here's a fast and exotic grilled entrée you can make in 30 minutes or less.

In the Community

How to Cope with Wildfire Smoke

Because fires are still burning in the western part of the country, it’s important to know what to do to protect you and your family.

Business

Why Transparency is Essential to Help Lower Cost of Prescription Drugs

Explaining why prescription drugs cost so much is complicated. But here’s what we’re doing to advocate for more transparency in the pharmacy industry.

Related Articles

Related Articles

Healthy Living

Men’s Health: The Basic Guidelines

Men: Let’s do this! It’s time to take control of your health.

Healthy Living

Why I Love Strength Training

Strength training isn’t just for gym bros. Here’s why I love strength training and why you should give it a shot, too.

Healthy Living

Popular Hikes in Idaho

Spring and summer are the perfect time to take advantage of warm weather and longer nights by going for a hike.

Healthy Living

What’s My Impossible? Owning My Own Home

Think you’ll never have enough money or be stable enough to own a house? Think again. You can totally own your own place if you just get rid of one very important barrier.

Post Author

Sandy Patton

Sandy is a Marketing Communications Specialist and has been with SelectHealth for 15 years. Her prior roles include health education and wellness coaching.