DIABETES CARE

How Do You Get Diabetes? Four Lesser-Known Causes

By Temma Ehrenfeld @temmaehrenfeld
 | 
March 30, 2017

How to prevent diabetes

George Kind, MD, chief scientific officer at Harvard’s Diabetes Center and the co-author of “The Diabetes Reset,” points out that you can cut your risk dramatically if you increase your exercise and change your diet. Changing your habits even a bit may seem inconvenient and time-consuming, but diabetes will be much so. This illness is far harder to deal with than the changes required to prevent it.

In fact, small changes can make a big difference. The landmark Diabetes Prevention Program study, which followed more than 3,200 volunteers with prediabetes for three years, concluded that people who lost just 5 to 7 percent of their body weight (that’s 12.5 pounds for a 180-pound person) and upped their exercise cut their chances of developing diabetes by almost 60 percent.

One rule-of-thumb: Reserve half of your plate for vegetables and fruit; one-fourth for lean protein like chicken, fish, or lean red meat; and one-fourth for complex grains and legumes. Keep fat to 15 percent of all your calories.

Exercise for half an hour five days a week. Even a brisk walk will help cut your diabetes risk.

Skip the vitamins. Although millions of Americans take antioxidant vitamins — vitamin C and E in particular — research indicates that these supplements probably don’t help and may trick your body into suppressing its natural antioxidants. Instead of taking vitamins, eat foods known to be high in compounds that trigger those natural oxidants. Drink green tea or eat broccoli or blueberries.

 

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Updated:  

March 30, 2017

Reviewed By:  

Janet O’Dell, RN