If you know someone that has diabetes you already know that it greatly changes your lifestyle by limiting your diet and requiring exercise to lower your risk of complications.  Diabetes also requires more doctors’ visits, costly medications and monitoring devices.  That’s why cutting your risk of developing diabetes can extend your quality of life and help avoid the high medical costs that go along with it.

Cardio and strength training are a great way to cut your diabetes risk.  The combination keeps blood sugar low and reduces insulin dependency.  Weight training will improve muscle strength and aerobic exercise improves cardio respiratory fitness.  Both lead to improved insulin sensitivity.  According to a Harvard University study, one hour of lifting weights and cardio exercise five days a week can lower your risk of type 2 diabetes by a whopping 59%.

Eating a salad with vinaigrette dressing as an appetizer before a starchy high carbohydrate meal has its benefits.  An Arizona State University study revealed that people with type 2 diabetes or a precursor condition called insulin resistance had lower blood sugar if they ate 2 tablespoons before a high carbohydrate meal.  That’s because vinegar contains acetic acid which is believed to activate starch digesting enzymes which slow carbohydrate digestion.

Eating red meat too often can greatly increase your risk of diabetes.  A Brigham and Women’s Hospital study showed that women who ate red meat at least 5 days had a 29% increased risk of diabetes.  Scientists think the cholesterol and additives in red or processed meat are the culprits.  Treating things like bacon or steaks as a treat rather than a staple will cut your risk by 43%.  Try planning a vegetarian meal a few nights a week to help cut your risk.  After all, eating vegetables has an abundance of disease fighting benefits and here is one more to add to that list.

Indulging in your coffee fix can help against diabetes.  Harvard School of Public Health found that people who drank more than 6 daily cups—had a 29 – 54% lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes during the 18-year study.  Having 4 – 5 cups cut risk about 29%; yet 1 – 3 cups per day had little effect.  Decaf coffee offered no protection but other caffeine containing items like tea and chocolate did. Researchers suspect that caffeine may help by boosting metabolism.

These are just a few simple ways to try to avoid developing diabetes which will restrict your lifestyle and increased your medical costs.  Let’s face it-no one wants that.