Q:

What steps can people take to reduce their risk of diabetes? (difficult)?

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Quick Answer

Maintaining a healthy weight, eating a balanced diet, exercising at least a half hour daily, and keeping blood pressure and cholesterol levels in target zones can help prevent or delay insulin resistance, or Type 2 diabetes, according to WebMD. Obesity is a primary risk factor for Type 2 diabetes because the body’s cells become resistant to insulin in direct proportion to the amount of fatty tissue, explains Mayo Clinic. Type 1 diabetes is not preventable.

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Full Answer

A 7 percent reduction in body weight reduces risk for diabetes, notes Mayo Clinic. Daily physical exercise helps individuals control their weight and burn glucose for energy, making cells more responsive to insulin. A daily eating plan that emphasizes low-fat and high-fiber foods, including whole grains, fruits and vegetables, and a twice-yearly blood glucose test help prevent diabetes. Keeping blood pressure below 140/90, increasing high-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels and reducing triglycerides in the blood are additional preventive measures.

The risk of developing Type 2 diabetes increases with age, and people with a family history of diabetes are at greater risk of developing the disease, according to Mayo Clinic. Women who develop gestational diabetes during pregnancy or deliver a baby heavier than 9 pounds are at increased risk for later developing Type 2 diabetes.

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