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About Diabetes: Diabetes Prevention
Are You at Risk?
Screening Guidelines for Type 2 Diabetes
Although type 2 diabetes tends to run in families, scientists believe that lifestyle and type 2 diabetes are closely linked. Changes in lifestyle may help prevent or delay the onset of the condition. A healthy meal plan, weight control, physical activity and stress reduction are important prevention steps.
Changes in lifestyle, including a low-calorie, low fat diet and moderate-intensity physical activity of at least 150 minutes/week can result in weight loss and reduce the progression to type 2 diabetes. Moderate intensity physical activity makes the heart rate go up and increases the rate of breathing. Examples might be going for a brisk walk, raking leaves, washing windows or polishing the car. It is recommended that 30 minutes of physical activity be done most days of the week. However it can be broken into 3 ten minute segments. To lose weight usually more than 30 minutes a day is needed.
For a guide to healthy eating follow Canadaís Food Guide to Healthy Eating, making your choices low in fat most of the time. Although all foods fit in a healthy diet, foods that are high in fat, high in sugar and high in sodium, should be eaten only occasionally. Examples of these foods are cookies, chips, fries and regular, sweetened pop.
The effects of stress can be reduced by physical activity, meditation, practising your spiritual beliefs or doing something daily that you enjoy such as listening to music, reading for pleasure, visiting with family and friends, or a hobby. Relaxation techniques such as deep breathing can be learned and, if practised regularly, also reduce the effect of stress on the body.
Smoking damages the blood vessels making the heart work harder to move oxygen and food for the cells throughout the body. Smoking causes a variety of chronic diseases. If you smoke, try to quit. Avoid second hand tobacco smoke, because its effects are similar to smoking yourself. To help you quit smoking call the Smokerís Helpline at 1-877-513-5333. For tips and other resources to help you quit smoking click here.
Certain diabetes medications have also been shown to reduce the progression to type 2 diabetes. Please talk to your doctor or pharmacist.
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