How to Reduce Your Risk of Diabetes

Over 1.5 million Americans are diagnosed with diabetes every year. Simple additions and subtractions might help reduce your risk:

from Reader's Digest, | February 2011

Over 1.5 million Americans are diagnosed with diabetes every year.

Simple additions and subtractions to your diet might help reduce your risk:

+ Broccoli and spinach
People who ate more leafy green vegetables were less likely to develop diabetes, a recent analysis of four studies showed. Adding a little more than a serving daily could cut risk 14 percent, researchers say.

+ Fish oil
When overweight mice were fed fish oils, their levels of inflammation—which can lead to diabetes—dropped. Fish oil supplements may offer the same help to humans, say scientists from the University of California, San Diego.

+ Breast-feeding
Mothers who breast-fed their newborns for as little as a month cut their own risk of developing diabetes later in life by as much as 33 percent.

– White rice
In a study of nearly 200,000 people, those who ate five or more cups of white rice a week were 17 percent more likely to wind up with diabetes than people who ate less than one serving a month. Surprisingly, switching to brown rice or barley was better than not eating rice at all.

– Staying up late
Sleeping less than six hours per night can increase your risk of developing diabetes by 30 percent by impairing your body’s ability to regulate blood sugar, says a review of ten studies.

– Smoking
Having even a few cigarettes a day can raise your risk of diabetes by 30 percent or more.

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