Everyday Ways To Reduce Your Diabetes Risk

Businessman Lighting a Cigar(BlackDoctor.org) — Researchers and medical professionals have been saying for years that healthy lifestyle choices can reduce the risks of developing Type II diabetes. New studies by the National Institutes of Health demonstrate that various individual healthy practices may actually reduce the risk even more significantly than originally believed, and these strategies can combine synergistically in dramatic ways.

Smoking

It is common knowledge that smoking is unhealthy, but new research shows that not smoking decreases your risk of developing diabetes by as much as 20 percent. Many chemicals contained in cigarettes cause inflammation and can have a toxic and unhealthy impact on the pancreatic cells that produce insulin. Additionally, it appears that much of the damage from smoking can be reversed in individuals who adopt healthy lifestyles and have not smoked for an inordinately long period of time.

Physical Activity

A sedentary lifestyle greatly increases the risk of diabetes, and only twenty minutes of sweat-inducing exercise at least three or four times per week can greatly reduce your potential for the disease. Exercise is also good for reducing stress, improving cardiovascular health and circulation, so it is always a win-win situation.

Healthy Diet

Eating a heart-healthy and sensible diet can reduce the risk of diabetes by approximately fifteen percent. Emphasize fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean proteins while avoiding processed, fried and fatty foods, and this is the basic building blocks of a healthy diet and lifestyle, not to mention the avoidance of diabetes.

Alcohol

Drinking more than one drink a day (for women) and two drinks a day (for men) definitely boosts the probability of developing diabetes. While red wine has been shown to have benefits for cardiovascular health, even those who do not drink alcohol are still at risk of diabetes in terms of other lifestyle areas. Overall, moderate alcohol consumption is the safest route to take if you choose to drink at all.

Obesity

Much has been written about weight control and the risks posed by obesity, and recent studies do indeed bear out the notion that even being slightly overweight makes diabetes a much more significant possibility. Carrying extra weight increases inflammation throughout the body, reducing cells’ sensitivity to insulin, the hormone most crucial for the control of blood sugar.

“The Perfect Storm”

According to the research, individuals can decrease their risk of developing diabetes by up to eighty percent if all potential lifestyle areas are addressed in a positive way. A healthy diet, optimal body weight, refraining from smoking, moderate alcohol intake and moderate exercise all combine to create a “perfect storm” that makes diabetes an unwelcome and improbable guest. Research shows that such changes in lifestyle can begin at any age, and the benefits are great no matter when the individual chooses to implement them.

While such changes in lifestyle can be difficult to begin and maintain, each individual lifestyle change carries the possibility of reducing diabetes risk by 31% for men and 39% for women. These numbers are significant, encouraging, and may indeed spawn a new interest in preventing diabetes while improving overall health.

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