Diabetes Prevention: Healthy Habits Can Prevent or Delay Onset
The best way to manage diabetes is not to develop it. This is not an idle concern; millions of Americans already suffer from diabetes and many, many more have prediabetes, meaning that their blood sugar levels are higher than normal but not yet high enough to be considered diabetes. Fortunately, there is evidence that Type 2 diabetes is preventable. Intensive lifestyle modification can reduce your risk of developing diabetes by more than 50%.
When it comes to preventing diabetes, healthy habits are fighting the good fight. Here are seven tips for stopping diabetes before it starts:
- Lose excess weight: Losing a modest amount of weight, such as 5-7% of your total body weight, can reduce your risk of diabetes.
- Eat healthy: Avoid unhealthy fats and sugars.
- Drink more water: Limit sodas or alcohol.
- Increase physical activity: To a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate physical activity each week.
- Don’t sweat the small stuff: Excessive stress is bad for you.
- Get your ZZZs: Beauty sleep is healthy sleep.
- Make your medical appointments: And make sure you keep them.
When It Comes to Diabetes Prevention, We Partner with the Best
We can help with diabetes prevention at Baptist Health. We participate in the National Diabetes Prevention Program, which is offered throughout the year.
Participants with prediabetes enroll in a year-long program that offers behavioral strategies for preventing or delaying the onset of Type 2 diabetes. The sessions take place at Baptist Health and are facilitated by diabetes educators. Content focuses on lifestyle changes, including improved food choices and increased physical activity.
The DPP is a year-long program, consisting of 16 weekly sessions in the first four months, 8 bi-weekly sessions in months 5-8, and four monthly sessions in months 9-12.
To qualify for the class, participants must be at risk for developing Type 2 Diabetes as evidenced by any of the following:
- A fasting plasma glucose count of 100 to 125 mg/dl.
- A plasma glucose count of 140 to 199 mg/dl. measured two hours after a 75-gm glucose load
- An A1C count of 5.7-6.4
- Clinically diagnosed gestational diabetes during a previous pregnancy (may be self-reported).
- A qualifying score on the CDC Risk Assessment for Pre-Diabetes.