Medically reviewed by John A. Flores M.D., M.S October 30, 2023| Written by Godfrey Makonere Wesutsa

Preventing or Reducing the Risk of Type 2 Diabetes


Type two diabetes is one of the health conditions that are expected to continue affecting many people because of lifestyle changes. Data by the International Diabetes Federation shows that the group of people with type two diabetes is expected to increase by 46% by 2045. However, these shocking statistics are not meant to cause alarm but prompt you to take relevant measures to reduce  your risk of getting type 2 diabetes. How? Continue reading!

What is Type Two Diabetes?

Type diabetes is a non-communicable health problem contributed by an accumulation of blood sugar in the blood. Understand that the body requires sugar, commonly regarded as glucose, as energy source. However, when the glucose goes beyond the required levels, it affects the functionality of the body, leading to type two diabetes.

The amount of sugar in the body is regulated by insulin, a hormone produced in the pancreas. When the sugar overpowers insulin, type 2 diabetes emerges, which can be terminal, and has no cure. Unlike what was commonly known in the past, type 2 diabetes can affect both adults and children.   The condition is associated with frequent urination, blurred vision, weight loss, and tiredness. But what exactly are the causes of this condition?

Causes of Type Two Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes is caused by two significant factors. Firstly, low insulin production in the pancreas affects the ability of the body to regulate blood sugar. Secondly, the body cells in the muscles, liver, and fat resist insulin, affecting sugar uptake. Research shows that lifestyle is associated with low production of insulin and resistance of body cells to the effects of insulin. Based on this understanding, it is imperative to adopt the following strategies to prevent and reduce the risk of having type 2 diabetes.

Eating Nutritious Diet

The Centers for Disease and Prevention recommends consuming foods rich in nutrients to boost immunity. Some food that is rich in nutrients includes lean protein, fruits, whole grains, and vegetables. These foods contain essential nutrients, including Vitamins, Iron, Potassium, and Calcium, which are vital for boosting the functionality of the body. Nutrition is critical in improving the immune system and increasing the functioning of body organs such as the pancreas.

Engage in Exercise  

Exercise is one of the prevention strategies that can help to boost metabolism. Exercise improves body immunity and the body cell power source. Exercising is not easy, especially if you are just starting. But there are some simple exercises that you can use to gain momentum. There are different ways that you can start your exercise journey.

You should start by engaging in a few exercises daily. Remember, consistency is the most important thing to starting your exercising journey. You can take a morning jog, do some aerobics at home, or join our fitness challenge for more professional guidance. Begin your workout routine to reduce the risk of getting type 2 diabetes. Remember, exercise streams down to the activities you engage in during the day.

Stop Sedentary Lifestyle 

This age of technology has led to an increased sedentary lifestyle characterized by low movement and low energy activities because of deliveries and easily accessible rides. Avoid a sedentary lifestyle because it makes the body stay dormant and makes the body cells less active. A sedentary lifestyle, such as spending too much time on the couch, using transport every short distance, or sitting for long hours, limits the functionality of the body.

There are different strategies that you can use to overcome a sedentary lifestyle, including walking your dog and riding a bicycle. At the office, you can take more water breaks to remind you to stand and walk to the water station. Additionally, you can set some daily minutes for light exercises and stretching to boost the flow of blood and the functioning of the cells.

Avoid Smoking

Cigarette smoking significantly increases the risk of type 2 diabetes. Studies cited in Age UK  show that cigarette smoking increases the risk of type 2 diabetes by up to 30-40%. Smoking exposes the body to numerous chemicals found in cigarettes, which affects the activity of insulin in sugar regulation. You should set a plan to quit smoking either instantly or gradually.

It is important to understand that smoking e-cigarettes is not an alternative because it leads to similar problems. The best strategy is to find alternative productive activities that can help you to gradually overcome the urge to smoke. Join a support club or group of people with the same objective of breaking free from different addictions. By stopping smoking, you can restore the capability of your pancreas to boost your insulin action in sugar regulation.

Mediation and Yoga

 Did you know that stress can increase type 2 diabetes? Yes, when you are stressed, you make the body overwork to overcome the stress hormones. During a stressful moment, your body requires more energy sourced from glucose. As more sugar is produced to help the body through stressful moments, the blood sugar increases, leading to a high risk of developing diabetes. So, what should you do to reduce this risk? Meditation, Yoga, or any other method of relaxation can help. For instance, meditation helps take the mind from the subconscious mode stuck on physical or social challenges. And divert it to a more peaceful setting that is more grateful for the present moment. Meditation helps to calm the mind and clear off the negativity, leading to stress on the body. Because of the connection between the body and mind, the body relaxes and restores the metabolism process to normal when the mind is calm.

Mediation is an effective way of helping the mind remain undisturbed regardless of what is happening outside. It is not about overlooking problems but rather positioning the reason to be grateful for the abundance in the present moment. You can practice Yoga or meditation at home or join others to help you learn how to start.

Avoid Alcohol or Drink in Moderation

Alcoholic drinks such as beer are associated with increased body weight and an increased risk of type 2 diabetes. Beer is made from barley, which is rich in starch. Taking alcohol daily increases body weight and can affect the functionality of crucial body organs. Daily small amounts of alcohol can reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes, but excess amounts have the opposite effect.

Avoid Fast Foods

In this fast-paced world, many people are looking for quick fixes. Most people turn to fast food restaurants for a quick grab whenever they are hungry at home or the workplace. Although fast foods are relatively cheaper, they increase your risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Fast foods like chips, hamburgers, chicken nuggets, and pizza are rich in sugar, carbohydrates, starch, and salt. These components can lead to an increase in body weight, increasing the risk of type 2 diabetes.

You can easily avoid fast foods by choosing alternative food products that are healthy for your body. You can grab fruits or eat whole grain meals during lunchtime despite being relatively expensive. Alternatively, you can carry a packed lunch to your workplace or take a substantial breakfast and have a healthy snack during lunchtime. Remember, you are what you eat; therefore, find quality food for a healthy body.

Avoid Sugar-sweetened Beverages.

Avoid sugar-sweetened beverages because of their connection to high body weight. The intake of sugar does not directly cause type 2 diabetes, but sugar indirectly influences the development of this condition. Intake of sugar leads to the accumulation of more glucose in the body, which is then converted into fat. An increase in body fat leads to an increase in body weight, which inhibits the ability of cells to respond to insulin. When you feel thirsty, drink water because it has diverse benefits for the body.

Drink Adequate Amount of Water

Water is good for catalyzing metabolism. Research by Harvard Research Center showed that taking more water than other beverages can help control blood sugar. Water helps to maintain hydration, which is suitable for removing toxins in the cells of the body. Water is also essential for maintaining a good body weight because it increases metabolism and helps you feel fuller for many hours. Water is critical in improving glycemic parameters for both diabetic and non-diabetic patients.


Although type two diabetes can also be caused by other factors such as genes, lifestyle is the primary factor that increases the risk of the condition. Change your lifestyle to reduce the risk of becoming diabetic. You should eat food rich in nutrients and minerals to improve the functioning of body organs such as the pancreas. Exercise and avoid a sedentary lifestyle to keep the body active and reduce excess weight. Additionally, avoid stress because it activates the production of more blood sugar.