Americans are facing a health crisis of pandemic proportions – type 2 diabetes. According to a recent study by the social research group Gallup, as of 2009 more than 11 percent of American adults had diabetes. Current trends indicate the number of Americans with type 2 diabetes could reach 15 percent, over 37 million, by 2015 .
While some type 2 diabetes risk factors are fixed (such as ethnicity, age and family history), you can dramatically reduce your chances of acquiring this disease by making healthy diet and lifestyle choices.
Here are the top 10 ways to reduce your risk of developing this debilitating disease:
(1) Get Moving
Exercising at a moderate pace for at least 5 days per week will dramatically reduce your diabetes risk. Activities like walking, riding a bike, dancing or playing a recreational sport for 30 minutes daily will do the trick.
(2) Loose A Little Weight
Research has shown that overweight adults who lose just 7 percent of their body weight cut their risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 58 percent .
(3) Follow a Low-Fat, Calorie-Controlled Diet
According to the U.S. Diabetes Prevention Program study, following a diet that is low in fat and calories could help millions of at-risk Americans prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes . Products like high-quality protein shakes, and bars can help dieters follow a low-fat, reduced calorie diet that is nutritionally complete and free from trans-fats and artificial sweeteners.
(4) Drink Only in Moderation
Alcohol can cause blood glucose (sugar) levels to spike, leading to a dangerous cycle of highs and lows that can cause your body to over-produce insulin, resulting in a pre-diabetic condition known as metabolic syndrome. Restrict alcohol intake to 1-2 drinks per day, no more than 3 days per week.
(5) Don’t Skip Breakfast
Studies show that skipping breakfast is a major risk factor for diabetes. Protein shakes make a quick and nutritious breakfast that can help stabilize blood sugar levels, giving you lasting energy throughout the morning.
(6) Stabilize Your Blood Glucose Levels
A diet that is high in refined sugar plays havoc on your insulin levels, leading to dramatic highs and lows that can impair your ability to process sugar. High-quality protein shakes and bars can help stabilize blood sugar levels, minimizing your risk of type 2 diabetes.
(7) Control Your Cholesterol
Eat a diet filled with superfoods like Greenergy to help keep your cholesterol levels in check. A high LDL cholesterol level increases your risk of developing type 2 diabetes and cardiac issues such as hypertension, heart disease and stroke .
(8) Quit Smoking
The connection between type 2 diabetes and smoking is yet another reason for smokers to quit, and for non-smokers to avoid all forms of second-hand smoke. A recent study in the American Journal of Epidemiology shows that smoking between 15 and 25 cigarettes daily triples the risk of developing diabetes  in otherwise healthy adults.
(9) Get Tested
If you are overweight, have high blood pressure, a family history of diabetes or are older than 45, you need to have your blood glucose levels tested. Early detection of pre-diabetes (the condition that precedes type 2 diabetes) is an important factor in delaying, or even preventing, the onset of diabetes.
(10) Manage Your Stress
Chronic stress leads to a host of physical symptoms, including fatigue, weight fluctuations, insomnia and depression. Practice relaxation techniques and eat a healthy, balanced diet to help keep harmful stress at bay.
By taking steps to cut your personal diabetes risk factors you will feel better, have more energy and avoid the pain and suffering of this devastating disease.
· Gallup Wellbeing: http://www.gallup.com/poll/123887/u.s.-diabetes-rate-climbs-above-11could-hit-15-2015.aspx
· Mayo Clinic: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/type-2-diabetes/ds00585/dsection=risk-factors
· Cleveland Clinic: http://my.clevelandclinic.org/tobacco/diabetes_and_smoking.aspx
· Diabetes.org: http://www.diabetes.org/
· Hands on Health SC: http://www.handsonhealth-sc.org/page.php?id=1161