Manage your weight. Excess body fat, particularly if stored around the abdomen, can increase the body’s resistance to the hormone insulin. This can lead to type 2 diabetes.
Exercise regularly. Moderate physical activity on most days of the week helps manage weight, reduce blood glucose levels and may also improve blood pressure and cholesterol.
Eat a balanced, healthy diet. Reduce the amount of fat in your diet, especially saturated and trans fats. Eat more fruit, vegetables and high-fibre foods. Cut back on salt.
Limit takeaway and processed foods. ‘Convenience meals’ are usually high in salt, fat and kilojoules. It’s best to cook for yourself using fresh ingredients whenever possible.
Quit smoking. Smokers are twice as likely to develop diabetes as non-smokers.
Control your blood pressure. Most people can do this with regular exercise, a balanced diet and by keeping a healthy weight. In some cases, you might need medication prescribed by your doctor.
Reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease. Diabetes and cardiovascular disease have many risk factors in common, including obesity and physical inactivity.
See your doctor for regular check-ups. As you get older, it’s a good idea to regularly check your blood glucose, blood pressure and blood cholesterol levels.