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8 Lifestyle Changes to Lower Type 2 Diabetes Risk

Medically reviewed by Jezreel Esguerra, MD · General Practitioner

Written by Excel Dyquiangco · Updated Dec 22, 2022

8 Lifestyle Changes to Lower Type 2 Diabetes Risk

Managing your blood sugar levels is important, not just for people with diabetes but even for those without the condition. After all, having elevated blood sugar levels can lead to other illnesses aside from diabetes, such as obesity and heart ailments. 

Diabetes can be managed with proper diet and exercise. And by managing blood sugar levels (glycemic control), we can help lower our risk of complications brought by diabetes, such as kidney damage and cardiovascular disease. Aside from medications, a vital part of managing diabetes is a self-care management program.

So how can you maintain your blood sugar at a healthy level? Here are some blood sugar management tips.

Blood Sugar Management Tips to Lower Diabetes Complications Risk

1. Exercise Regularly

Whether you are as young as 10 years old, or as old as 90 years old, exercising regularly can help lower your blood sugar level. This also increases insulin sensitivity which means the cells in your body can better use the sugar flowing through them. 

Choose aerobic exercises with moderate intensity, such as walking, jogging, or biking.

2. Manage Consumption of  Carbohydrates

Consuming too much carbohydrate-rich food, like rice and pasta, that break down into simple sugars, can lead to heart diseases and other illnesses over time.

To counter such problems, it is best to control and manage your carb intake. It’s important to note, however, that low blood sugar levels also pose certain health risks.

Here are some tips to manage your carbs:

  • Cut down on bread and sugary drinks, choose eggs for breakfast and other low-carbohydrate foods.
  • Consume vegetables and fruits for snacks instead of the usual bread.

3. Eat More Fiber

Fiber lowers blood cholesterol levels and naturally helps manage blood sugar.

According to the Institute of Medicine, the amount of fiber needed by men 50 years and younger is 38 grams while for women, 25 grams.

Meanwhile, for men 50 years and older, at least 30 grams of fiber is needed. And for women, 21 grams. 

Aside from fruits and vegetables, some examples of foods rich in fiber include whole-grain products such as peas, beans and other legumes, and nuts and seeds.  

4. Stay Hydrated

It is well known that drinking at least 8 glasses of water is good for us. Drinking enough glasses of water a day helps you manage your blood sugar levels.

Take note, though, that non-caloric beverages are healthier options as compared to sweetened bottles of water. Also, forego the juices, the shakes, and the sodas as these contain lots of sugar. 

5. Be Mindful of What You Eat

This is easier said than done, of course, especially when you are bombarded with an array of delectable dishes at a buffet table.

But simply being more conscious of what you eat can help you manage your blood sugar level and control your calorie intake. 

As a helpful tip, when at a dinner party or at a buffet table, choose a small plate because this creates the illusion that your plate is full, and therefore, you have already eaten enough.

Another tip is weighing and measuring portions; checking the serving sizes and reading food labels will help a lot. And lastly, eat slowly. 

6. Manage Stress

Studies say that stress can increase blood sugar levels. To manage stress, exercises and relaxation techniques can help.

  • Get out of the city once in a while and immerse yourself in nature.
  • Read a good book.
  • Sleep and wake up early and free your mind of all worries and anxieties.
  • Do some yoga.
  • Hang out with your friends.
  • Watch movies or television with your family.
  • Take a warm bath or a shower.
  • Start a hobby and learn new things such as gardening, or collecting stamps.
  • Go on an adventure such as parasailing or spelunking.

7. Get Enough Sleep

Some experts say that getting more quality sleep can lead to lowered blood sugar levels, while lack of sleep can contribute to Type 2 diabetes. This is because sleep relaxes your body, while lack of it stresses you. When stressed, our bodies produce cortisol, a steroid hormone responsible for many bodily functions, to which include the increased production of sugar to ready our bodies to handle the stress.

To help you get that much-needed shut-eye, here are some tips:

  • Sleep in a comfortable and cool environment.
  • Go to bed and wake up at the same times.
  • Avoid sleeping with your gadgets near you.
  • Keep your mind free from concerns.
  • Avoid looking at screens at least an hour before bedtime.
  • 8. Never Skip Breakfast

    There is a reason why breakfast is the most important meal of the day.

    After not eating for at least 8 to 12 hours because of sleep, your body needs food to balance blood sugar levels, and needs nutrients to keep your energy levels up. Breakfast provides the necessary energy your body needs for most of the day.

    In addition, failing to eat breakfast can lead you to getting hungry soon enough and consuming foods that may be rich in sugar. 

    Key Takeaways

    Naturally, blood sugar management takes a lot of hard work. But with perseverance and consistency, you can help yourself and others maintain your blood sugar at your desired level. 

    Learn more about diabetes, here.


    Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

    Medically reviewed by

    Jezreel Esguerra, MD

    General Practitioner

    Written by Excel Dyquiangco · Updated Dec 22, 2022

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