Top 10 habits that raise your risk for Diabetes

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 79 million American adults have pre-diabetes.  Here are 10 bad habits you can avoid that could be increasing your risk for diabetes:

  1. Drinking sugary drinks: Harvard researchers concluded after studying 30 sweet drinks, that drinking sugary drinks is a big reason Americans are overweight.  Lemonades, sweet tea and soda are ‘empty calories.’ Satisfy your craving for fruit juice with 100% juice and drink half the glass.
  2. Not eating breakfast: Forgoing breakfast is detrimental to type 2 diabetics by creating a chain reaction. Starving yourself in the morning disrupts insulin levels and blood sugar control, and may result in you eating more later on. Budget the time to eat a well-balanced meal for blood sugar control and weight loss. Eggs, nut butters, fresh fruit, yogurt, whole-wheat pita pockets, or whole-grain bread are good breakfast options.
  3. Avoiding fruits and vegetables: Large servings of non-starchy vegetables such as spinach, squash, tomatoes, and broccoli are excellent choices for diabetics. Fruits like blueberries, strawberries, and cranberries are also great as they are loaded with disease-fighting antioxidants. Fruits reduce blood pressure and damaging inflammation and improve insulin resistance for good blood sugar control.
  4. Avoiding Fish: Salmon, tuna, mackerel, and sardines are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which reduce the risk for heart disease and high blood pressure, keep arteries healthy, and are good for preventing diabetes. Two servings every week is recommended. Other good protein choices include chicken or turkey without the skin, tofu, eggs and no-fat Greek yogurt.
  5. Eating starchy carbs:  Too much pasta, potatoes, and white bread will cause your blood sugar to spike and will pile on the pounds. The American Diabetes Association advises that you limit the starchy carbs in your diet to one-quarter of your plate.
  6. Late night snacks: waking up to eat is a pattern that causes blood sugar spikes and disrupts insulin secretion.  Having three balanced meals every day help stifle the urge to indulge at night and provide better control of your blood sugar. If you must have a late snack, don’t consume “trigger” foods like chips and donuts.
  7. Adding butter: butter and other saturated fats have been linked to insulin resistance, a risk factor for type 2 diabetes. Vegetable-based oils, which contain monounsaturated or polyunsaturated fats, are a better alternative. Extra virgin olive oil, for instance, is heart-healthy and a good choice if you are at risk for diabetes.
  8. Shopping without a list:   to prevent diabetes, planning is critical. Take time to create lists of healthy food items you need from the store, and keep your home stocked with things that are good for you.
  9. Emotional Eating: according to some research feeling sad, hopeless, or even worthless can lead to overeating and weight gain.  People who are depressed are also less likely to take the right steps to manage their blood sugar and diabetes.
  10. Not getting enough sleep: when you get fewer than six hours sleep, you disrupt hormones that control blood glucose and hunger, leading to weight gain. Lack of sleep has also been linked to a higher risk of type 2 diabetes, so it's important to make sleep a priority.