Prevention

Diabetes is not destiny. Even if you have risk factors, or if people in your family have Type 2 diabetes, you may still be able to prevent the disease by focusing on diet and exercise. And if you do have diabetes, lifestyle choices can help improve your health and prevent complications.

Healthy lifestyle choices can help you prevent Type 2 diabetes. Even if you have diabetes in your family, diet and exercise can help you prevent the disease. If you've already received a diagnosis of diabetes, you can use healthy lifestyle choices to help prevent complications. And if you have prediabetes, lifestyle changes can slow or halt the progression from prediabetes to diabetes.

  • Eat healthy foods. Choose foods lower in fat and calories and higher in fiber. Focus on fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
  • Get physical. Aim for a minimum of 30 minutes of moderate physical activity a day. Take a brisk daily walk. Ride a bike. Swim laps. If you can't fit in a long workout, spread 10-minute or longer sessions throughout the day.
  • Lose excess pounds. If you're overweight, losing 7 percent of your body weight can reduce the risk of diabetes. To keep your weight in a healthy range, focus on permanent changes to your eating and exercise habits. Motivate yourself by remembering the benefits of losing weight, such as a healthier heart, more energy and improved self-esteem.

Sometimes medication is an option as well. Metformin (Glucophage, Glumetza, others), an oral diabetes medication, may reduce the risk of Type 2 diabetes — but healthy lifestyle choices remain essential.

This article is from the Mayo Clinic Health Information Library and is legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to legal@newscred.com.

Causes & Risk Factors

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Prevention

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Symptoms & Diagnosis

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Complications

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Treatment

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Coping & Support

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Causes & Risk Factors

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Prevention

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Symptoms & Diagnosis

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Complications

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Treatment

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Coping & Support

Learn More