If diabetes runs in your family, you are more likely to have prediabetes and develop diabetes, according to the Centers for Disaster Control and Prevention (CDC). And if you have more than one relative with diabetes, you have an even higher risk of developing the disease, according to a study published in Diabetology.
The good news is that your fate is not set in stone even if there is a diagnosis of diabetes in the family. Being physically active, eating a healthy diet, and losing weight are all things you can do to significantly lower your risk.
We assume you know what to do to exercise more – walk more, run more, cycle, swim more, etc. – so read on to learn more about the best eating habits to follow if you want to keep diabetes out of your future. Read on, and for more on how to eat healthy, don’t miss The Best Juice to Drive Every Day, According to Science.
A key eating habit for diabetes prevention is to enrich your diet with more plant foods. “The Big Mistake People Make Is Thinking They Should Avoid Carbs, Says Certified Diabetes Care and Education Specialist Kim RoseRDN, CDCES. “That’s a misconception.”
Skipping all the carbs will undermine your efforts and can actually trigger blood sugar spikes when your cravings take over your willpower. “You need to space out your carbs throughout the day, so you have a steady source of energy, and eat quality fiber-rich complex carbs from fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, and seeds. “, she says. “Aim for three grams of fiber or more per serving.”
A 2017 study in the Journal of Geriatric Cardiology found that a plant-based diet of high-fiber foods like beans, oats, sweet potatoes, fruits, and whole grains was more effective at improving blood sugar control than a traditional diet for diabetes focused on limiting sugars and carbohydrates. Study participants who consumed an average of 40 grams of dietary fiber daily by eating mostly plant-based foods had the most success in improving insulin sensitivity.
Forget sugars and carbs for a minute and let’s talk calories. Even when you get rid of the bun, a fast-food or sit-down restaurant burger is high in calories, and while it doesn’t spike your blood sugar when you eat it, it may indirectly increase your risk of diabetes. “Over time, excess calories can lead to weight gain, and weight gain can lead to insulin resistance,” Rose warns. So make it a habit to consider calories, not just carbs and sugars when eating out.
Vitamin D is thought to help improve the body’s sensitivity to insulin, the hormone that regulates blood sugar. Studies linked people with low levels of vitamin D to an increased risk of type 2 diabetes.
But adding D to your body isn’t as easy as drinking vitamin D-fortified milk and eating lots of fatty fish. It’s hard to get vitamin D from food, so you might make a habit of eating your sardines out at lunchtime on a sunny day to provide the so-called ‘vitamin’. sunshine” in your skin.
A review in the medical journal Diabetes spectrum indicates research suggesting that 5-30 minutes of sun exposure to the skin of the face, arms, back or legs (without sunscreen) at least twice a week is necessary for the synthesis of vitamin D in quantity enough to improve blood sugar control and reduce the risk of diabetes.
If you have a sweet tooth, you might get into the habit of having a cookie or a scoop of ice cream after dinner. (Related: Your Sweet Tooth May Be Genetic.) The problem with these treats is that they’re full of simple carbs that rush blood flow, raising blood sugar and releasing insulin. This is because these candies do not contain fiber. Fiber slows the absorption of these sugars, which helps control blood sugar.
The good news is that you don’t have to fight your sugar cravings. Simply replace your typical dessert with a clean, sweet treat like fruit, as it contains fiber and nutrients. Make it sweeter by freezing seedless red grapes, dipping bananas in dark chocolate and freezing them, or cutting watermelon into chunks and keeping them handy in the fridge.
When you add a healthy, sugary treat, you tend not to yearn for the snacks you eliminate, says Registered Dietitian Nutritionist Grace A. Derocha, RDNnational spokesperson for the Nutrition and Dietetics Academy.