The bad news: Diabetes is one of the most costly and burdensome chronic diseases of our time.
The good news: According to current research, type 2 diabetes may be prevented or delayed when certain lifestyle goals are achieved:
Lose weight if you are overweight. Being overweight greatly increases your chances of developing type 2 diabetes. A weight loss of just 5 to 7 percent significantly reduces your risk.
Eat no more than 30 percent of your total daily calories from fat. Here’s how to calculate: Divide the number of calories you eat each day by 30. That will give your approximate daily fat allowance in grams. For example, if you eat 1500 calories a day, your total daily fat allowance is 50 grams. (Fat grams are listed on food labels.)
Limit your intake of saturated fat to no more than 10 percent of your total calories. That’s about 15 to 20 grams a day if you eat between 1500 to 2000 calories a day. You can find saturated fat (in grams) on food labels as well.
Eat more dietary fiber. Since fiber is only found in plant foods, this is a smart way to get more fresh fruit, vegetables, whole grain cereals and breads, beans and legumes into your diet. The goal: 15 grams of fiber for each 1000 calories you eat.
Exercise at least 150 minutes each week. Thirty minutes a day, five days a week is a reasonable goal.
Lifestyle changes can stop or slow the progression of a serious disease. That’s the most encouraging news of all.