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How to prevent type 2 diabetes

¿What makes me more likely to develop diabetes?

In type 2 diabetes, family heritage is one of the main risk factors. But this is not the only risk factor. Overweight, sedentary lifestyle (lack of exercise), and diets high in fat and calories contribute to the development of type 2 diabetes. With a healthy life style, disease can be delayed and even prevented. It is also more likely that the woman who has had diabetes during pregnancy (Gestational diabetes) develop type 2 diabetes in the future.


¿What can I do to reduce the risk?

Our organism with exceeded body weight and a poor physical condition make it impossible to use insulin properly. The body, whose weight has been controlled and has been active, handles insulin better.

The study entitled “Program for Prevention of Diabetes”, found that overweight in people who had reduced between five and seven percent of their total weight could reduce the risk of developing diabetes by 58 percent. By ingesting fewer calories and exercising half an hour a day for five days a week was more effective than taking drugs to make better use of insulin.

The idea is not to reduce weight until we reach the “perfect” body volume in order to minimize risk; just by losing from 10 to 20 pounds we can notice a result. It is important to maintain weight by eating healthy and exercising regularly.


More than a third of people with diabetes ignore this fact. If you are prone to diabetes, have a blood sugar analysis once a year. Symptoms of type 2 diabetes can be easily overlooked because they often look like normal signs of aging. It is possible to prevent complications of diabetes if the disease is discovered early.

Common symptoms of diabetes include:

  • Fatigue
  • Blurry view
  • Frequent urination
  • Skin infections
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Excessive thirst or hunger
  • Persistent or frequent urinary or vaginal tract infections.

¿What changes in a lifestyle can help me?

It is never easy to make adjustments in a diet and an exercise regime. Focus on doing one or two changes every month and after one year you will have a completely new lifestyle.

  • Aim for 30 minutes or more of exercise 5 to 7 days a week.
  • Eat at least five servings (each half cup) of fruits and vegetables a day.
  • Eat less fatty and fried foods.
  • Drink little or no alcohol.
  • Switch to breads and cereals with high fiber content.
  • Eat 2 to 3 ounces of meat, fish or poultry for lunch and dinner.
  • Use nonfat dairy products and low in fat.
  • Drink plenty of water instead of sugary drinks.
  • Season food with fat-free broth with herbs and spices instead of fats.
  • Do not eat too much at night. Try to divide the food equally during the day.
  • Eat slowly and enjoy the food while sitting at the table.


Prepared by Connie Crawley, MS, RD, LD

Extension specialist in nutrition and health.

Publication N°. FDNS-E-11-7a-SP