6. Include a glass of wine with your dinner. One study found women who had a drink of wine a day cut their risk of diabetes in half compared to teetotalers. Not a wine lover? The study found the same effects for beer. But cork the wine bottle once dinner is over. An Australian study found that drinking a glass of wine immediately after eating can result in a sudden drop in the insulin in your blood, meaning the glucose from your meal hangs around longer, eventually damaging arteries.
7. Munch on baked chips. Made without the saturated fat found in fried foods, baked chips — tortilla, potato, vegetable, or soy — are an excellent substitute when you’re craving something crunchy and salty. The reason you want to avoid the saturated fat is simple: University of Minnesota scientists evaluated 3,000 people and found those with the highest blood levels of saturated fats were twice as likely to develop diabetes.
8. Walk eight blocks a day. That’s all it took in one large study from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention to slash the risk of dying from diabetes by more than one-third. Believe it or not, if you walk eight blocks a day, you’ll have covered six miles by the end of the week, making you nearly 40 percent less likely to die from all causes and 34 percent less likely to die from heart disease, the leading cause of death in people with diabetes. The reason? Walking makes your cells more receptive to insulin, which leads to better control of blood sugar. It also raises levels of “good” HDL cholesterol.
9. Rent a comedy and watch it after dinner. A Japanese study found that people with diabetes who laughed soon after eating (while watching a comedy) had significantly lower blood sugar levels than those who listened to a boring lecture. The connection held even for those without diabetes.
10. Have half a grapefruit with breakfast tomorrow morning. Researchers from the Scripps Clinic in San Diego had 50 obese patients eat half a grapefruit with each meal for 12 weeks and compared them to a group that didn’t eat any. Those patients who ate the grapefruit lost an average of 3.6 pounds. They also had lower levels of insulin and glucose after each meal, suggesting a more efficient sugar metabolism.
11. Add at least one day a week of resistance training. You’ll build more muscle than you will by walking, and the more muscle mass you have, the more efficiently your body burns glucose and the less hangs around in your blood.
12. Add a cup of decaffeinated coffee if you simply must have that doughnut. British researchers found that combining decaf with simple sugars (like those in doughnuts, cakes, and cookies) reduces the blood sugar spike such sweets create. Regular coffee didn’t have the same benefit. The reason? While plant chemicals in coffee slow the rate at which your intestines absorb sugar, caffeine delays sugar’s arrival in muscles, keeping it in the bloodstream longer.