How to prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes?

What can cause type 2 diabetes?

Type 2 diabetes is characterized by chronic excess sugar in the blood . First, insulin resistance occurs : This hormone (glycemia) secreted from the pancreas to regulate blood sugar loses its effect. In response, the body secretes it in larger quantities. But years later, the “tired” pancreas can no longer produce enough insulin. Normal blood sugar on an empty stomach is between 0.80 g and 1.10 g.    

Very rich foods, a sedentary lifestyle, longer life expectancy… are the main causes of this diabetes, which usually affects overweight adults . This slowly developing situation is underestimated. Indeed, it can cause asymptomatic visual, renal, neural, and cardiac complications most of the time. 

Many people are unaware of their pathology, so there is a need for screening , but it should be followed, especially as soon as the glucose dose in the fasting blood reaches twice the normal range. 

How do you know if you have diabetes?

Diabetes screening is done by measuring glycemia (blood sugar level),  which remains a key criterion for confirming the diagnosis . A blood sample is taken on an empty stomach in the morning .   

Intense thirst, fatigue… what are the first signs of diabetes?

 Your blood sugar (glycemia) level  is between 1.10 g and 1.26 g. A family history of diabetes, overweight, sedentary lifestyle, including belly button… should alert you. Especially borderline high blood pressure (14/9), cholesterol problems , smoking… often increases cardiovascular risk factors! 

Among the most common symptoms are:

  • Increased volume and frequency of urine;
  • Increased thirst and hunger;
  • dry mouth;
  • Blurred, cloudy vision;
  • fatigue and/or drowsiness;
  • slow healing of wounds;
  • yeast infections;
  • Dry skin, itching…

What is pre-diabetes?

 Pre-diabetes refers to a blood sugar level, that is, a blood sugar level that is higher than normal but not sufficient to diagnose diabetes,” says Diabetes Quebec . Not everyone living with pre-diabetes develops type 2 diabetes, but many do. It is a kind of alarm signal that lifestyle changes should be initiated to prevent or at least delay the onset of type 2 diabetes .      

 “In a pre-diabetic person, it is necessary to meticulously monitor both blood sugar and blood pressure, the lipid profile, ” insists Professor Gérard Slama, a diabeteso-endocrinologist in Paris .

Watch your diet to limit type 2 prediabetes

Overweight and obesity play a critical role in the incidence of diabetes   . By maintaining a normal body mass index (BMI) , you can limit most of the risk. Losing about 7% of your excess weight over a few years reduces the risk by 50%. Warning: weight loss should be gradual and long-term.  

The key is in the diet: limit consumption of sugar and saturated fat , opt for good fats, fiber , and certain spices like cinnamon and turmeric, which have been shown to lower blood sugar.     

The goal: to find a healthy, balanced diet that is less rich, less fat, and more diverse . The rule of thumb is to take three meals a day absolutely without eating and snacking . Also, dinner should be lighter than lunch. You shouldn’t skip breakfast .    

Here are a few tips:

  • Consume fewer calories .  It is enough to lose 2 kilos a month and it eliminates the yo-yo effect. To achieve this, we recommend reducing your food allowance by 20%. For example, if you are sedentary, you should have 1,800 kcal for a woman and 2,000 kcal for a man;
  • Eliminate fast candies.  Sugary drinks, carbonated drinks, sweets, sweets, honey and jams will be banned;
  • Review your menus  : starches to which you can add 40 to 50 g of bread once a day. Low glycemic index foods . Green vegetables, as well as legumes that can replace starchy foods . Proteins: preferably lean meats, red meats should be limited to twice a week. Dairy products ( milk, yogurt, dairy products);      
  • Limit fats.  Fat should not exceed 30-35% of your total daily calorie intake. Avoid bad fats (cream, butter, meat with sauce);
  • Increase your fiber intake . They reduce the absorption of sugar in the intestine. You’ll find them in whole grains, fruits, and vegetables . 

Two servings of fruit a day prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes

The researchers analyzed data from 7,675 participants who provided information about their fruit and juice intake through a food frequency questionnaire. They found that those who ate more whole fruit had a 36% lower chance of developing diabetes within five years .     

They also found an association between fruit consumption and sensitivity markers to insulin , a hormone produced by the pancreas that allows glucose (sugar) to enter cells in the body . Their hypothesis: The bodies of people who ate more fruit had to produce less insulin to lower their blood sugar .   

Which fruit lowers diabetes?

No fruit reduces diabetes. But to control your diabetes, it’s better to opt for fruits that are low in sugar and rich in fiber , as they slow  the absorption of sugar in the blood . Pears, apples, kiwis, oranges, citrus fruits, red fruits can be counted among the fruits that can be eaten in diabetes.    

Eating sardines regularly helps prevent type 2 diabetes (study)

According to a study published in March 2021 in the journal Clinical Nutrition (Source 4) , regular consumption of sardines helps prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes, thanks to the nutrients they contain in large amounts, such as taurine, omega-3s , calcium and vitamins . D.        

152 patients diagnosed with pre-diabetes were placed on a diet aimed at reducing their risk of developing the disease, but only a small group were instructed to add 200 grams of sardines to their diet each week . Of this group, 37% were at high risk of developing diabetes at the start of the study .    

After a year of study, only 8% remained at very high risk. Improvements were also seen in other important parameters, such as a decrease in the insulin resistance index, an increase in “good” cholesterol (HDL),  and a decrease in triglycerides and blood pressure .  

Can type 1 diabetes be prevented?

Type 1 diabetes is rarer. Unlike type 2 diabetes, it is considered an autoimmune disease . A complete insulin deficiency occurs as a result of the disappearance of beta cells from the pancreas. The body no longer recognizes these beta cells and destroys them (…)” ,  Explains the French Diabetes Federation (Source 5).

 We do not yet know of an effective way to prevent type 1 diabetes . Some avenues of research are ongoing, particularly with vitamin D supplementation from childhood and even immunotherapy .  

Type 2 diabetes prevention: exercise!

Muscles make a significant contribution to glucose uptake . Therefore, physical activity is essential to ensure stable blood sugar levels.

Physical activity should be prolonged, frequent and of moderate intensity.  It contributes to maintaining weight loss or preventing weight regain by stimulating the oxidation of lipids and carbohydrates (which are “ burned” during exercise ).   

Effective activities: so-called endurance exercises, brisk walking, swimming, cycling, etc. ideally 30 to 45 minutes every day , at least three times a week is recommended. “I recommend walking 45 minutes every day, 15 minutes faster, ” says Professor Slama . The direct effect on glycemic control can be measured after exercise.     

Regardless of whether you’re at risk for diabetes or not, getting 30 minutes of moderate exercise a day, five times a week, helps reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes . Simple activities like walking, gardening, cycling…   

Reduce stress to prevent diabetes

Too much stress affects the blood in two ways .  

  • First, it drives people who suffer from it to neglect their lifestyle , thus eating less well and not exercising; 
  • Second, it can raise blood sugar on its own.  

Taking care to unwind and relax through breathing , meditation , or emotional help will make you feel better and reduce the risk of illness.     

Professor Fabrice Bonnet, head of the department of diabeteso-endocrinology at Rennes University Hospital, states that research has shown that four years of physical activity associated with a balanced diet in highly supervised people significantly reduces the risk of progression to type 2 diabetes.

Get regular checkups for type 2 pre-diabetes

In addition to correcting all risk factors (high blood pressure, smoking, etc.) with medications if necessary, regular follow-up is essential.  

  • Your weight and waist circumference should be monitored every three months.  The latter should not exceed 80 cm in women and 94 cm in men;
  • Fasting blood glucose level  should be measured every three to six months;
  •  A lipid assessment is required once a year ; 
  • Your blood pressure is  should be checked every three months.

Type 2 diabetes Q&A:

Question 1: What should be done to prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes?

Answer 1: A healthy lifestyle should be adopted to prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes. This includes exercising regularly, eating healthy, maintaining weight control, managing stress and not neglecting regular checkups.

Question 2: What should a healthy diet be like to prevent type 2 diabetes?

 Answer 2: A healthy diet should include choosing foods with low sugar and fat content and consuming foods with fiber. A balanced and varied diet helps keep blood sugar levels under control.

Question 3: Which exercises are effective in preventing type 2 diabetes?

Answer 3: Aerobic exercises, such as walking, jogging, swimming or cycling, can be effective in preventing type 2 diabetes. Moderate-intensity exercise for 30-45 minutes at least three times a week is recommended.

Question 4: Why is stress management important in preventing type 2 diabetes?

Answer 4: Stress can raise blood sugar and lead to unhealthy lifestyle habits. Reducing and managing stress helps prevent type 2 diabetes by maintaining hormonal balance.

Question 5: Why are regular checkups and screenings important in preventing type 2 diabetes?

 Answer 5: Regular check-ups and screenings provide an opportunity for individuals at risk of type 2 diabetes to monitor their health and for early detection. Monitoring blood sugar levels and monitoring other health indicators helps prevent type 2 diabetes, with intervention as needed.

Question 6: When should I make lifestyle changes to prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes?

Answer 6: The best time is for individuals at risk of type 2 diabetes to start lifestyle changes as soon as possible. Early intervention can delay or prevent the onset of diabetes. In consultation with your doctor, you can determine the best time for you.

Question 7: Which risk factors should be considered in order to prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes?

Answer 7: Factors that increase the risk of type 2 diabetes include obesity, sedentary lifestyle, family history, poor eating habits, stress, high blood pressure and high cholesterol levels. It is important to take preventive steps by paying attention to these risk factors.

Type 2 diabetes is an important health problem and is associated with factors such as unhealthy lifestyle habits and obesity. However, it is possible to prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes, and lifestyle changes are of great importance for this.

Adopting a healthy lifestyle is an effective step in preventing type 2 diabetes. Factors such as proper nutrition, regular exercise, stress management and regular check-ups are of great importance in reducing the risk of diabetes.

In terms of diet, it is important to control the intake of sugar and fat, to prefer foods with fiber and to create a balanced diet. Healthy eating habits help keep blood sugar levels under control.

When physical activity is done regularly, the body can better use glucose and reduce insulin resistance. Getting moderate-intensity exercise at least three times a week helps reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes.

Stress management is important for maintaining the body’s hormonal balance. Reducing stress through methods such as breathing, meditation, and emotional support can be effective in preventing type 2 diabetes.

Regular checkups and screenings are important for individuals at risk of type 2 diabetes to monitor their health. Regular monitoring of blood sugar levels and monitoring of other health indicators provides early diagnosis and intervention.

In order to prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes, it is necessary to adopt a healthy lifestyle and keep risk factors under control. Taking the right steps to prevent or delay the progression of diabetes is the key to a healthy future. By giving importance to our own health, we can prevent type 2 diabetes and lead a healthier life.

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