Posted on June 14, 2020 by Jenny Cromack

Earlier in the week, as part of National Diabetes Week, we blogged about diabetes and looked at what diabetes is. We thought we would use this blog to look at Type 2 Diabetes in more detail and how you can prevent getting Type 2 Diabetes. Physical activity and diet adjustments are two main approaches known to help treat and manage Type 2 diabetes. But what about preventing Type 2 diabetes?

It is known that not just diet, but lifestyle changes are the greatest approach to prevent Type 2 diabetes. Having a healthy and diverse diet along with regular physical activity and weight management can, in fact delay or prevent, the onset of Type 2 diabetes happening.

It is shown that having a high saturated fat diet can infact increase your risk of developing Type 2 diabetes as well as having an inactive lifestyle. However, increasing activity levels and reducing saturated fat intake will not only potentially encourage weight loss but will also help towards the prevention of Type 2 diabetes.

Physical activity can improve insulin sensitivity and overall tolerance of glucose which is great when associated with diabetes. Regular activity can actually reduce our risk of developing Type 2 diabetes by a huge 64%, we would be crazy to not want to do any form of exercise after reading just that sentence! Recommendations are currently 30 minutes of moderate intensity exercise five times a week to reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes.

Food groups are well known for their individual health benefits and how they improve our wellbeing, but the main focus should be on wholegrains when it comes to diabetes prevention. Not only do wholegrains provide us with a lot of nutrients, minerals and vitamins but they also contain combinations of antioxidants and phytoestrogens which can be important in the prevention of diabetes.

A few examples of wholegrains
• Wholegrain/ wholewheat breads and pastas
• Brown rice
• Quinoa
• Spelt
• Buckwheat
• Oats

Here are a few take home tips for diabetes prevention:
• Choose a wholemeal approach when it comes to food choices.
• Eat fewer fatty foods such as fried foods or highly processed meats.
• Increase physical activity levels and aim for 5 x 30 minutes of moderate intensity exercise a week.
• If a meat eater, try choosing lean meats or more beans/pulses and white fish.
• Choose a lower fat option when you have yoghurt or milk.
• Aim to include more fruit and vegetables in your daily nutrition routine.
• Most importantly eat a varied diet, including all food groups.