7 Surprising Habits That Can Lead to Diabetes

Being overweight or poor eating habits aren't the only things that can lead to diabetes. You might be surprised to learn that some everyday habits might be putting you at risk for developing the disease.

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You're cutting back on coffee


Your java habit might not be such a bad thing. Studies show that coffee consumption (both caffeinated and decaffeinated) can reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.  One study analysis by the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health found that those who sipped six cups a day had a 33 percent lower risk of developing the disease compared to non-coffee drinkers. Certain components in coffee seem to reduce insulin resistance and may also boost glucose metabolism, the process of converting glucose to energy. Follow these healthy habits to prevent diabetes.

You're a chronic night owl

iStock/Marilyn Nieves

If late night is your favorite time of day, you might be putting yourself at risk for diabetes. A recent Korean study found that people who stay up until the wee hours of the morning are more likely to develop diabetes than those who hit the sack earlier, even if they still get seven to eight hours of sleep, MensHealth.com reported. Night owls tend to be exposed to higher levels of artificial light from televisions and cell phones, a habit that is linked to lower insulin sensitivity and poorer blood sugar regulation, study author Nan Hee Kim, MD, said in a press release. Staying up late is also linked with poor sleep quality and sleep loss, which can disrupt your metabolism. Ignore these diabetes myths that could be sabotaging your health.

Your diet is light on probiotics


"The risk of diabetes increases when you have more bad bugs [bacteria] than good bugs in your gut," says Betul Hatipoglu, MD, an endocrinologist at Cleveland Clinic. Your stomach needs good bacteria, called probiotics, for proper digestion; low levels can lead to inflammation that may eventually lead to insulin resistance. Eat foods like yogurt, sauerkraut, and some cheeses for a probiotic boost. These are the best foods for good gut bacteria.

You microwave leftovers in plastic


Here's a good reason to purge your collection of takeout containers: Reheating food in them might increase your risk of developing diabetes. Researchers at NYU Langone Medical Center in New York City found that two chemicals used in the manufacturing of plastic wrap and plastic takeout containers were associated with an increased risk of diabetes in children and teens. The chemicals were found to increase insulin resistance, a precursor to diabetes, as well as elevated blood pressure.

You don't get enough sun exposure


It's important to protect yourself from the sun's harmful cancer-causing rays, but shunning sunlight entirely may put you at risk for diabetes. According to a new Spanish study, people with vitamin D deficiency are more likely to have type 2 diabetes and prediabetes, regardless of their weight; researchers believe the sunshine vitamin plays a role in the proper functioning of your pancreas, which produces insulin and helps regulate blood sugar. Dr. Hatipoglu suggests taking a supplement to boost your levels, as well as eating foods rich in the vitamin, like salmon and vitamin D-fortified milk or cereal. These are signs that you're not getting enough vitamin D.

You spend your weekends binge-watching TV


You might want to rethink your Sunday Netflix fix. A University of Pittsburgh study found that every hour spent sitting in front of the TV increases your risk of developing diabetes by nearly 4 percent, according to MensHealth.com. "Too much sitting can lead to storage of visceral fat, which increases your waist circumference," Eric Sternlicht, PhD, a professor of kinesiology at Chapman University, told the site. Extra belly weight significantly increases your risk of developing diabetes by reducing your body's insulin sensitivity.

You skip breakfast


"Forgoing your morning meal not only tends to backfire, making you ravenous by late morning, but can also create the perfect storm for type 2 diabetes," Ellen Calogeras, a diabetes educator with the Cleveland Clinic Diabetes Center told EverydayHealth.com. When you deprive your body of food, insulin levels are disrupted, making it harder to control blood sugar.

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