Diabetes, a chronic condition characterized by higher-than-normal blood sugar levels, can lead to serious long-term health complications if not properly managed. Type 1 is congenital — meaning that if you have it, you were born with it. Type 2 diabetes, however, is also called “adult onset diabetes” because it develops over time. Type 2 diabetes is far more common than type 1, but unlike with type 1, there are ways to prevent it.
At Everyday Care and Nutrition, our commitment is to help everyone live a healthier lifestyle, which is also the first step in preventing adult onset diabetes.
WHAT IS DIABETES?
Insulin is a hormone that allows glucose (sugar from the food you eat) from your bloodstream to be used as energy for cells. Diabetes occurs when the body doesn’t produce enough insulin, or when the insulin it does produce can’t do its job effectively, which can lead to blood vessel damage, heart attack, stroke, kidney disease, vision loss, and nerve damage.
But when it comes to type 2 diabetes, there are certain risk factors that can be prevented by simple lifestyle changes, all of them having to do with keeping your body healthy and avoiding certain behaviors that can increase your risk for adult-onset diabetes.
CAN YOU PREVENT TYPE 2 DIABETES?
Type 2 diabetes is heavily linked to obesity, sedentary lifestyles, and a few other controllable risk factors.  That means that simple lifestyle changes can help prevent diabetes or lessen its effects!
1. Exercise Regularly — Even if It’s Just a Taking a Walk!
Who needs a gym membership or expensive exercise equipment when you have a good pair of walking shoes?
Walking just 30 minutes a day a few times every week, especially for those who live an inactive lifestyle, has been shown to increase cardiovascular health, reduce body fat, and boost endurance. Frequent walks have been shown to help prevent type 2 diabetes — as well as heart disease, osteoporosis, and some cancers. 
2. Maintain a Healthy Weight
The more body fat you have, the more likely it is that your cells will start to become resistant to insulin.
You may be able to prevent or delay diabetes by losing weight and keeping it off, especially if you’re significantly overweight. Studies have shown that reducing your starting weight by at least 7% has helped reduce the development of type 2 diabetes by 58%! 
3. Eat a Healthy, Balanced Diet
Our body converts all carbohydrates to glucose, meaning that consuming a diet high in carbs can destabilize our blood sugar levels. That means bread, pasta, snack foods, and certain high-sugar fruits should be enjoyed in moderation.
Eat a diet high in vegetables and choose your proteins wisely. Choosing chicken, turkey, or fish over beef, pork, and lamb can lower your diabetes risk by up to 35%! 
4. Quit Smoking and Limit Alcohol Consumption
If you’re worried about diabetes, it might be time to examine your smoking and drinking habits.
Research has shown that smoking cigarettes increases the risk of type 2 diabetes by 44% or more in heavy smokers.  Alcohol can also play a factor in diabetes: beer, wine, and sugary mixed drinks contain a lot of sugar and carbs.
HEALTHY LIFESTYLES FOR DIABETES PREVENTION
There are ways to protect yourself against type 2 diabetes, and at Everyday Care and Nutrition, we want to help you live a healthy life, all day, every day. That’s why we offer targeted vitamins and supplements to give you the boost you need to maximize your exercise and prevent future health complications.