Maintaining a healthy weight, eating healthy, and physical activity often are associated with a healthy lifestyle, but these are also the recommendations to help ward off Type 2 diabetes — the most common.
More than 29 million U.S. adults have diabetes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Of those affected, 25 percent, or one in four, doesn’t even know they have diabetes.
If left unmanaged, diabetes could lead to complications such as kidney disease, lower limb amputations, adult-onset blindness, and heart disease and stroke.
In addition, 86 million U.S. adults have prediabetes and 90 percent are unaware.
Prediabetes is a condition where insulin produced in the body is no longer used effectively, leading to slightly elevated blood glucose levels. The risk of complications associated with diabetes is thought to begin in prediabetes.
When people with prediabetes participate in healthy lifestyle changes, they tend to reduce their chance of developing Type 2 diabetes by as much as 60 percent.
Healthy eating involves consuming nutritious food choices and appropriate-sized portions to improve your overall health.
Studies show that regular physical activity provides a variety of health benefits, and may prevent or delay prediabetes and Type 2 diabetes. It’s recommended that physical activity is increased gradually with a moderate-intensity activity such as walking. The recommended minimal physical activity is 30 minutes five times a week.
A weight loss of as little as 7 percent of body weight may prevent or delay the development of prediabetes and Type 2 diabetes.
The combination of healthy eating and increased physical activity will promote naturally a gradual weight loss to help prevent diabetes.
Healthy lifestyle goals constantly evolve and change. It’s important to identify barriers that potentially may delay achievement of your goals.
Resources such as the YMCA, local gyms, weight loss programs, diabetes education programs and your health care professionals are available to navigate you toward achievement of your long-term goals.
By Dr. Syed W. Rizvi is a contributing writer and provides preventive, acute and chronic illness care to adult and adolescent patients at Newtown Medical Associates. 3400 Old Milton Parkway, Building A, Alpharetta, GA. 770-740-8550.