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7 ways to reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes

14 November marks World Diabetes Day National Diabetes. You can help reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes by understanding your risk and making changes to your lifestyle. 

7 ways to reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes

Common risk factors of type 2 diabetes include increased weight, blood pressure, blood fat levels and the likes. Changing the habits of a lifetime isn’t easy, but it’s worth the effort.

“A delayed type 2 diagnosis can have a serious impact on a person’s health and life. Type 2 diabetes is currently the leading cause of blindness, amputation, kidney damage and heart attack in Australia. The best way to avoid these serious health issues is early detection and good management. That’s why we’re encouraging everyone over 40 to ask their doctor for a diabetes test at their next appointment,” says Sturt Eastwood, CEO Diabetes NSW & ACT

Here are some tips to help you reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes.

  1. Manage your weight. Excess body fat, particularly if stored around the abdomen – central obesity – can increase the body’s resistance to the hormone insulin. This can lead to type 2 diabetes.
  2. Exercise regularly. Moderate physical activity on most days of the week helps manage weight, reduce blood sugar levels and may also improve blood pressure and cholesterol.
  3. Eat a balanced, healthy diet. Reduce the amount of fat in your diet, especially saturated and trans fats – the bad kind of fat. Eat more fruit, vegetables and high-fibre foods.
  4. Limit takeaway and processed foods. These are often high in salt, fat and kilojoules. It’s best to cook for yourself using fresh ingredients whenever possible.
  5. Limit your alcohol intake. Too much alcohol can lead to weight gain and may increase your blood pressure.
  6. Quit smoking. Smokers are twice as likely to develop diabetes as non-smokers.
  7. Control your blood pressure. Most people can do this with regular exercise, a balanced diet and by keeping a healthy weight.

See your doctor for regular check-ups. As you get older, it’s a good idea to regularly check your blood glucose, blood pressure and blood cholesterol levels.

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