Your overall risk can be affected by things like your age, race, and family history. We also know that the most important risk factor is being overweight. If you are overweight, one way to avoid type 2 diabetes is to lose weight. Losing any amount of weight can help. There are many ways to lose weight, so you need to find the one that works best for you.
We know that not everyone at risk for or living with type 2 diabetes is also overweight. But it’s still important to choose healthier foods, even if you don’t need to lose weight. According to research, there are even some foods that may lower the risk of getting type 2 diabetes. Here are ways to eat healthier and lower your risk of type 2 diabetes.
Choose drinks that don’t have sugar added.
We know that drinking full-sugar sodas and energy drinks makes you more likely to get type 2 diabetes. Cutting back on these can both help lower your risk and help you stay at a healthy weight. There is also evidence that drinking tea and coffee without sugar is linked to a lower risk. If it’s hard for you to lose weight, look for diet or low-calorie versions of soft drinks and make sure they don’t have extra sugar. Don’t try to replace sugary drinks with fruit juices or smoothies because they still have a lot of sugar. Instead, try plain water, plain milk, tea, or coffee with no sugar added.
Select carbs that are higher in fiber.
Eating refined carbs like white bread, white rice, and sugary breakfast cereals can make you more likely to get type 2 diabetes. But brown rice, wholewheat pasta, wholemeal flour, wholegrain bread, and oats are linked to a lower risk, so choose these instead.
Consume less processed food and red meat.
They may also cause heart problems and some kinds of cancer.
Try to get your protein from foods that are better for you, like:
pulses like beans and lentils, eggs, fish, chicken, and turkey, and nuts that haven’t been salted. Learning about food labels, which are on all food packages, was a huge help because we were able to spot foods that were highly processed and had a lot of sugar, fat, and salt. This helped us choose much healthier foods.
Choose yogurt and cheese with no added sugar.
You may be wondering whether to choose full fat or low fat. The amount of fat in dairy products is not as important when it comes to the risk of type 2 diabetes. What’s more important is that you choose options that aren’t sweetened, like natural or Greek yoghurt that isn’t sweetened and plain milk.
Don’t drink too much.
Type 2 diabetes is more likely to happen if you drink too much alcohol. Because it has a lot of calories, drinking a lot of it can make it hard to lose weight. Current guidelines say that you shouldn’t drink more than 14 units of alcohol per week on a regular basis and that these units should be spread out over 3–4 days. Try to go a few days a week without drinking any alcohol.
Consume more beneficial fats.
Healthy fat is important in our diets because it gives us energy. How healthy we are can depend on the kind of fat we eat. Some saturated fats can make your blood have more cholesterol, which can make you more likely to have heart problems.