Here in the United States, 34.2 million Americans—just over one in 10—have diabetes, and another 88 million—approximately one in three—have prediabetes. These staggering numbers remind us that diabetes is a prevalent health crisis in our country and often preventable with proper awareness, education, and lifestyle choices. However, if your doctor has recently diagnosed you as pre-diabetic, that doesn’t necessarily mean that a future as a person with diabetes is imminent. The following nine health choices will mitigate your risk of developing diabetes and the health complications it can carry.
1. Eat Healthily
A critical change that you can make to lower your risk of diabetes is to make healthier eating choices. A five to ten percent weight reduction can significantly lower your risk of developing diabetes. Swap processed carbs for whole grains and starches, such as potatoes, white bread, and sugary breakfast cereals.
2. Get Active
Aim for at least 30 minutes of activity per day, five days per week. Such activity can further help you manage your weight and can strengthen your heart and lungs. Talk to your doctor before you begin any new fitness routine or exercise program.
3. Manage Your Blood Pressure and Cholesterol
High blood pressure and unhealthy cholesterol levels are risk factors for several health risks, including heart attack, stroke, and diabetes. A healthy diet paired with an active lifestyle can help. So can your doctor.
4. If You Smoke, Quit
Smoking can increase your risk of diabetes. If you need help quitting, talk to your doctor, or visit smokefree.gov to access education, programs, and resources.