According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 1 in 3 Americans will have type 2 diabetes by 2050 if current trends continue. The most common type of diabetes, type 2 diabetes is triggered by both family factors and obesity and inactivity; its costs total nearly $175 billion per year, not to mention the toll it takes on individuals and families. But taking initiative and updating your lifestyle can make sure that diabetes stays in your past and not your future. While drugs and surgery can work, there are several more natural options for defeating diabetes:
• Show your muscles. While all exercise is great for diabetes prevention, strength training can build muscle, which helps your body respond better to insulin and ward off pre-diabetes, according to a recent UCLA study.
• Think green. The color of spring, green vegetables such as kale, lettuce, zucchini, peas and cucumbers offer great nutrition and next to no sugar. If you’re not a natural fan of green veggies, look for ways to make them more attractive, whether adding a favorite spice, serving them on a beautiful plate, or adding them to a soup or smoothie.
• Out of sight, out of mind. When potato chips, red meat and cookies are out of sight—and out of your house—you’ll be less likely to be tempted into poor food choices. Likewise, when your sneakers and your heart rate monitor are waiting for you when you wake up each morning, they’ll provide a little reminder that it’s time to get moving.
• Talk to your doctor. If you are pre-diabetic or worried about diabetes in your family, talk to your doctor about healthy steps you can take to reduce your risk factors for diabetes and other diseases.
And while you may need to make some important changes, small steps can make a big difference: Losing five to 10 percent of your body weight and building up to 150 minutes of exercise a week can slow or stop diabetes in its tracks, according to WebMD.