The short answer to this question is no. However, the good news is that there is a strong correlation between lifestyle choices and management of the disease once you are diagnosed. Not only does a healthy lifestyle help you control the disease, but it can aid in the prevention of type 2 diabetes.
Lifestyle Factors That Help Control or Prevent Type 2 Diabetes
There is a link between the foods we put in our bodies and the risk of disease. This, however, can get confusing quickly due to the conflicting opinions. Avoid the confusion and keep it simple. Avoid fad diets, and aim to make a lifestyle change - changing your eating habits to something manageable and sustainable for a lifetime.
Here are some simple tips for eating well:
- Learn to read ingredient labels - know what’s in your food before you buy it.
- Choose whole-grain options over refined options - for example, select whole-wheat pasta, bread, and cereals, brown rice instead of white rice.
- Skip the sugary drinks like soda and juice. Instead, opt for coffee, tea, and water.
- Choose healthy fats found in foods like nuts, seeds, and fish. Choose olive oil rather than vegetable, canola, or seed oils.
- Limit processed foods. These include foods like prepared boxed or canned meals, bacon, hot dogs, lunch meat, fruit snacks, sugary cereals, etc.
- Avoid fast foods, as these foods are loaded with calories, fat, and salt and tend to be lower in nutrients.
- Shop the outer aisles of the grocery store. Inner aisles are where processed foods live.
- Eat the rainbow. Aim to make your plate colorful which means loading up on veggies for every meal. Eating a variety of foods helps ensure you are getting the different vitamins and nutrients your body needs.
- Watch your intake of carbohydrates and added sugars by reading ingredient labels.
- Portion control - know how much you are eating and what a serving size is. Eating more slowly can help reduce how much you eat.
Inactivity or living a sedentary lifestyle is a contributing factor to developing diseases like type 2 diabetes. In order to live your healthiest life, you need to get moving regularly. It is recommended that adults get 150 minutes of moderate physical activity weekly or 10,000 steps per day. Shockingly, only 23% of Americans report getting the recommended amount of weekly activity.
Make it part of your daily routine to get at least 20-30 minutes of physical activity. Get creative. There are a variety of fun activities that can get you moving, such as:
- Taking a brisk walk
Additionally, you can make it part of your daily routine to simply move more. Here are some simple tips to move more every day:
- Take the stairs
- Park farther away
- Walk or bike rather than drive when possible
- Stand up and move every hour while working if you have a desk job
Alcohol has been linked to an increase in the risk of many diseases. Limit your consumption of alcohol to no more than one drink per day for women and two drinks per day for men.
Smoking harms your body and increases your risk of many life-threatening diseases. Don’t start smoking and if you are a smoker, quit today.
We live in a stressful world and learning to manage stress can have a number of positive effects on our overall health. Below are some options to help manage stress;
- Take a relaxing bath
- Get a massage
- Talk through it with a loved one or professional
- Get outside
- Mindfulness and meditation
Set a Good Example
Children learn life-long behaviors from their role models, like their parents and teachers. It is critical to teach your children at a young age the importance of making healthy choices every day.
Worried You Are at Risk?
If you are experiencing symptoms or concerned that you may be at risk of developing type 2 diabetes you should schedule an appointment with your primary care physician. Your physician can then perform any necessary tests and develop a treatment plan if necessary. Also, most adults are screened for type 2 diabetes at their annual physical.