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Type 2 diabetes is a chronic disease that has been linked to various health concerns, including high blood pressure. It is the seventh leading cause of death in the United States, with millions of people unaware that they are affected. Certain genetic and racial factors may increase the susceptibility to diabetes, with American Indians, Latinos, Asians, and African Americans at higher risk. However, making simple adjustments to one’s diet early on can lower the risk of developing the disease and promote a longer, healthier life. Endocrinologists have identified refined sugar as the number one food that can increase the risk of diabetes.

Consuming refined sugar regularly can lead to insulin resistance, a key factor in the development of diabetes. Sugar-sweetened beverages, such as fruit juice and soda, are particularly risky as they are high in calories and sugar, which can lead to insulin resistance. While indulging in sugary treats occasionally may not be harmful for moderately healthy individuals, excessive consumption can spike blood sugar levels and stress the body’s insulin response. Avoiding sugary foods and beverages, including highly processed carbohydrates and saturated fats, can help manage the risk of diabetes. Opting for whole foods, such as fruits and vegetables, and being mindful of portion sizes can make a significant difference in preventing the disease.

In addition to avoiding certain foods and drinks, increasing vegetable, fiber, and lean protein intake is recommended. Incorporating fiber-rich foods like chickpeas, oats, beans, apples, and pears into the diet can help manage diabetes risk. Leading an active lifestyle, with at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity per week, can improve sugar processing in the muscles and reduce the risk of diabetes. Along with a healthy diet and exercise, stress management and adequate sleep are essential factors in preventing diabetes and promoting overall well-being.

Supplements such as vitamin D and magnesium can also play a role in maintaining insulin sensitivity and preventing diabetes. Consulting with a healthcare provider before starting any new medications or supplements is recommended. By making these lifestyle adjustments and prioritizing holistic well-being, individuals can significantly reduce their risk of developing diabetes and improve their overall longevity. Ultimately, small changes in diet and daily habits can have a profound impact on one’s health and reduce the likelihood of developing type 2 diabetes.

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