Overweight individuals may prevent type 2 diabetes if they lose between 5 and 7 percent of their body weight, according to the National Diabetes Education Program, or NDEP. Exercise also plays an important role in prevention. Exercise controls weight, lowers blood sugar and improves insulin sensitivity, reports Mayo Clinic.
The NDEP recommends 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise five days per week. Moderate-intensity exercise consists of activities such as walking, jogging, cycling and dancing. These exercises can be broken down into 10-minute sessions and performed throughout the day.
Diet may also prevent diabetes. A diet rich in fiber promotes weight loss and improves blood sugar control, according to Mayo Clinic. This includes foods like fruits, vegetables and beans. Replacing refined carbohydrates with whole grains helps as well. Food products with a significant amount of whole grains have the word “whole” at or near the top of the ingredient list.
Smoking increases the chance of diabetes and promotes insulin resistance, according to the International Diabetes Federation. The risk of type 2 diabetes also rises with age, notes Mayo Clinic. After age 45, individuals should be screened regularly. Those younger than 45 should be screened if they are sedentary, overweight or if diabetes runs in the family.