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Diabetes Prevention Tips

When it comes to Type 2 diabetes — the most common type of diabetes — prevention is crucial, especially if you're at increased risk. If you’re overweight, have a family history of diabetes, or are African American, then you have a greater chance of developing diabetes.

Making a few basic lifestyle changes now may help you avoid the serious health complications of diabetes later, such as nerve, kidney, and heart damage. Preventing Type 2 diabetes can be as simple as eating more healthfully, being more physically active, and shedding a few extra pounds.

Prevention tips from the American Diabetes Association and your Kelsey-Seybold doctors include:

  1. Get more exercise. Exercise can help you lose weight, lower your blood sugar, and boost your sensitivity to insulin, which helps maintain your blood sugar within a normal range. A fitness program that incorporates both aerobic exercise and resistance training can help control diabetes.
  2. Eat fiber-rich foods. These include fruits, vegetables, beans, whole grains, nuts, and seeds. Doing so may help you reduce your risk of diabetes, lower your risk of heart disease, and promote weight loss by helping you feel full.
  3. Reach for whole grains. Set a goal of making at least half your dietary grains whole grains. Whole grains in breads, pasta products, and cereals may reduce your risk of diabetes and help maintain blood sugar levels. Check for the word "whole" on the package and in the first few listed ingredients on the label.
  4. Drop the excess weight. Every pound you lose can improve your health and reduce your chance of developing diabetes.
  5. Steer clear of fad diets. Instead of fads that typically only produce temporary results, focus on variety and portion control as part of an overall healthy eating plan.
  6. Get regular checkups. Your doctor is your best resource and champion when it comes to disease prevention. They may have additional tips based on your medical history and other factors.

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