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10 ways to prevent type 2 diabetes at a young age

Adopting healthy lifestyle habits early in life can significantly reduce the risk of developing diabetes. Here's what you can do.

What used to be rarity few decades back is becoming more common in modern times. Type 2 diabetes earlier affected people over 40, but now things are changing fast as sedentary lifestyle has become a norm and intake of junk food is on all-time high. As per studies, physical inactivity is a major factor that's contributing towards obesity and diabetes epidemic in younger people. It has been found that physical activity has been on decline in children aged 9–15 years which is raising risk of metabolic disorders. Healthy diet, exercise, a good night's sleep can help prevent diabetes at a young age.

"In today's fast-paced world, diabetes has become a prevalent health concern, affecting people of all ages. However, adopting healthy lifestyle habits early in life can significantly reduce the risk of developing diabetes. Here are ten effective ways to prevent diabetes at a young age," says Dr Navneet Agrawal, Chief Clinical Officer, BeatO.

Dr Agarwal shares ways to prevent type 2 diabetes at a young age:

1. Maintain a balanced diet

A well-balanced diet rich in whole grains, fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and healthy fats can help regulate blood sugar levels. Avoid excessive sugary foods and drinks, processed snacks, and high-fat foods.

2. Stay active

Regular physical activity not only helps in maintaining a healthy weight but also improves insulin sensitivity. Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise, like brisk walking or cycling, per week, along with muscle-strengthening activities.

3. Control portion sizes

Be mindful of portion sizes to avoid overeating. This habit can prevent weight gain and maintain a healthy body mass index (BMI), crucial in diabetes prevention.

4. Manage stress

Chronic stress can contribute to unhealthy lifestyle choices and insulin resistance. Practice relaxation techniques such as meditation, yoga, or deep breathing exercises to manage stress effectively.

5. Get quality sleep

Lack of sleep can disrupt hormones responsible for controlling appetite and blood sugar levels. Aim for 7-9 hours of quality sleep each night to support overall health and well-being.

6. Limit screen time

Excessive screen time, especially in front of television and computers, can lead to a sedentary lifestyle. Encourage outdoor activities, hobbies, and social interactions to reduce screen time and promote physical movement.

7. Stay hydrated

Drinking plenty of water throughout the day helps maintain optimal bodily functions, including blood sugar regulation. Replace sugary beverages with water, herbal teas, or infused water for a healthier alternative.

8. Avoid tobacco and limit alcohol

Smoking and excessive alcohol consumption increase the risk of diabetes and various other health issues. Avoid tobacco completely and limit alcohol intake to moderate levels (up to one drink per day for women and up to two drinks per day for men).

9. Regular health check-ups

Regular health check-ups, including blood glucose monitoring, can help detect any signs of prediabetes or insulin resistance early. Timely intervention and lifestyle changes can prevent the progression of diabetes.

10. Educate yourself

Understanding the risk factors, symptoms, and complications associated with diabetes empowers individuals to make informed decisions about their health. Stay informed and educate others in your community about the importance of diabetes prevention and healthy living.

Preventing diabetes at a young age requires a holistic approach that combines a healthy diet, regular exercise, stress management, and adequate sleep. By adopting these habits early in life, individuals can significantly reduce their risk of developing diabetes and lead a healthier, more fulfilling life.

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