Diabetes is a common chronic disease from which millions of people suffer. According to the American Diabetes Association (ADA), over one in 10 Americans have diabetes. This chronic disease involves elevated blood sugar levels for an extended period. People who suffer from diabetes are unable to control their blood sugar levels, resulting in excess glucose in their blood. While there's no cure for it, there are preventative measures you can take to lower your risk of developing diabetes.
Maintain a Healthy Weight
Maintaining a healthy weight will lower your risk of developing diabetes. People who are obese or overweight typically have the highest risk of developing diabetes. If you are obese or overweight, your body may struggle to process sugar. In turn, your blood sugar levels may rise to the point where it causes diabetes. Fortunately, you can protect yourself from diabetes by maintaining a healthy weight.
Beware of Simple Carbs
Consuming too many simple carbs will place you at risk for diabetes. Simple carbs are carbohydrates that are quickly broken down by the body for energy. When you consume a simple carb, your body will convert it into energy. The problem is that simple carbs, when consumed in excess, can lead to elevated blood sugar levels. Since they are broken down quickly, they'll raise your blood sugar levels while increasing your risk of diabetes. Reducing your intake of simple carbs, on the other hand, will lower your risk of diabetes.
Avoid Sugary Beverages
In addition to simple carbs, you should avoid sugary beverages. Sugary beverages consist of soda, sports drinks, sweetened tea and other drinks that are sweetened with sugar. Sugar, of course, is ultimately what's responsible for diabetes. Sugar is considered a simple carb, and like all simple carbs, it can elevate your blood sugar levels. Instead of sugary beverages, drink water. It will keep you hydrated without affecting your blood sugar levels.
Research shows that people who smoke are roughly twice as likely to suffer from diabetes than their counterparts. Cigarette smoke contains a cocktail of toxic and harmful chemicals, some of which can affect your body's metabolism. If you smoke, your body may struggle to regulate your insulin levels, thus contributing to higher blood sugar levels. Smoking can cause countless other chronic diseases besides diabetes, so it's a bad habit that's best avoided.
Increase Fiber Intake
You can lower your risk of developing diabetes by adding more fiber to your diet. How does fiber protect against diabetes exactly? Fiber, specifically soluble fiber, slows the absorption of sugar. When you consume fiber, your body will absorb sugar more slowly, which helps to lower the risk of diabetes.