Six ways to avoid diabetes

Six ways you could be increasing your risk of diabetes without even knowing it.

Middle aged man with belly sitting on couch

Eating the wrong food is not the only way to increase the likelihood of diabetes. Here are six other ways that you could be endangering your health without even knowing it.

1. Do you drink too many soft drinks?
You may think that the high level of sugar in soft drinks is a major cause of diabetes, but it’s the weight you gain from excess sugar consumption – not the sugar itself – that increases your risk. When you’re overweight, your body has to work harder to produce insulin in order to control your glucose levels. When it can’t keep up, your risk of diabetes skyrockets.

2. Do you skip breakfast?
Missing breakfast even one day per week increases your risk of diabetes by 20 per cent. It’s not called the most important meal of the day for nothing. Eating breakfast helps you maintain healthy insulin levels. When you skip breakfast, those levels dip, and when you do finally eat, they spike. These extreme changes to your insulin levels can give you diabetes.

3. Do you sleep enough?
When you don’t sleep enough, you feel sluggish and your energy levels drop. But that could also actually be a sign of diabetes, not just tiredness. Sleep is as important for maintaining healthy insulin levels as the food you eat.

4. Are you depressed?
Depression is not only a side effect of diabetes. People who suffer from depression also have a 63 per cent higher risk of developing diabetes. Symptoms of depression and diabetes are very similar, so if you’re feeling blue, it may be time to see your GP.

5. Do you sit around too much?
Sitting around all day increases your risk of developing diabetes by 3.4 per cent. Getting out and about is crucial for your health – even if it’s just to walk around for a couple of minutes every half hour or so. Exercise can also stave off the blues and keep your mind and body active.

6. Do you sweat enough?
If you don’t sweat enough, you’re more likely to get diabetes. So spend 20 minutes a day, at least three to four days per week, doing something that makes you sweat. Once your body gets used to short stints of exercise, you’ll sweat less, so you’ll have to ramp it up in increments for maximum effect.

Changing a few bad habits and incorporating new healthier ones into your daily routine can be the difference between developing diabetes and staying on track for a healthy life. At the very least, you’ll feel better.

Disclaimer: If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, have a history of diabetes in your family or feel you may be doing a few too many of the aforementioned diabetes ‘no-nos’, then it may be wise to have a check-up.  



    To make a comment, please register or login
    4th Jun 2018
    That line...Once your body gets used to short stints of exercise, you’ll sweat less, so you’ll have to ramp it up in increments for maximum effect, is ridiculous. You would end up exercising all day, we do have other things to do.
    4th Jun 2018
    No Margie, you don't have to workout for longer, just at a higher intensity.
    4th Jun 2018
    Sugar or at least the bad sugars, sucrose and fructose, is definitely at the core of the problems of obesity and diabetes. Read more on this here:

    Additionally, we were never meant to run for hours at low intensity. We are evolved for high intensity interval exercise. It is the way hunters would have had to work. Or foragers chasing small game or digging tubers in high heat or at the edge of ice cold streams. You don't potter for hours on a treadmill. Short and sharp is what it is all about.

    And lastly, forget about modern foods doing much other than supplying (or over-supplying) energy. We need to look to wild and near-wild foods for our real nutrition. See this:
    4th Jun 2018
    Fructose in its natural packaging is NOT a bad sugar.
    go veg!
    4th Jun 2018
    Cutting out meat, eggs and dairy greatly reduces your chance of getting diabetes (proven, it just requires your will power to start and then you won't go back once you feel so much better).
    4th Jun 2018
    I am a diabetic 2 I am 32kg over weight I inject insulin everyday you get told this is good fruit but I eat a mango my sugars shoot up but every page you read is different from the one before if they say low sugar, low fat something is taken its place they are know saying the sugar replaced soft drinks Coca-Cola etc are no good,i drink beer my sugars level out so I will carry on drinking I don't care what they say every person and body is different if you find what suits you do it I am not qualified but I would rather drink beer then eat sweets
    4th Jun 2018
    These links might help you dreamer:

    Mango have a glycaemic index of 56 which is just into the average band (low is up to 55, over 70 is high). The glycaemic load is a different but equally important figure (GL greater than 20 is high, 11-19 average and below 11 low). This figure takes into account the amount of fibre the fruit (or any food) has which offsets the effect the food has on the blood sugar. So on the GI measure mango is a 56 but on the GL measure it is only 8.

    Likewise we don't often eat a single food in isolation. So eating a combination of foods can lower (or raise) the effect of the sugar burden. Try eating your mango with say a piece of cheese or even cream or yogurt and you would probably find your blood sugar does not rise as much due to the fat you ingested at the same time.
    4th Jun 2018
    We have been encouraged to eat low fat, high carbohydrate foods for decades and we are now paying the price with Diabetes 2.

    The glycaemic index relates to blood sugar readings in diabetics two hours after eating the mango or whatever. There are no readings taken after the 2 hours are up. Blood sugar levels that rise slowly but peak later than 2 hours after eating score low on the glycaemic index. Should we eat these foods? Dreamer, I think you are right when you say we are all different and, by eating to your meter, you are discovering which foods are right for you.

    I hope you find this youtube video helpful, I loved it!
    4th Jun 2018
    and I might add if they told you what sugar was actually in the food that would help, choice are doing a campaign at the moment I believe
    4th Jun 2018
    You are quite right on this point. It's the added sugar to just about everything that is the real problem (and the 40+ different names for it on labels) not the naturally occurring sugar in fruit, veg milk etc.
    4th Jun 2018
    'Naturally occurring' does not always mean 'good for you' when you have diabetes. My understanding of fruit and its fructose is that you should eat it in whole form (because then its impact is diluted by the fibre in some way). I avoid fruit juice for this reason.
    4th Jun 2018
    I've never heard of some of this stuff, Leon (and I've had type 2 for 4 years and probably much longer). Hope this is not quackery, Leon. Exercise is essential (I walk four times a week for at least 40 minutes) in diabetes management, but this alleged connection between sweating and diabetes control is a new one on me. Does it mean, e.g., that walking on cold mornings (when you sweat much less) is less effective? There is a lot of confusion about what causes diabetes, how to manage it, what to eat etc (and this is illustrated by Dreamer's comments). Thanks muchly, Leon, but we don't need more half-baked stuff.

    4th Jun 2018
    All great advice - but too late for me.
    5th Jun 2018
    Drinking a glass of water before a meal will cut down your appetite.

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