Diabetes

Your score suggests that you have an increased risk of developing diabetes. We advise that you see your doctor to discuss your concerns and get blood tests done. These tests include a fasting glucose and cholesterol test. This would help your doctor to further assess your risk of diabetes.

Introduction

Diabetes is a lifelong condition that causes a person's blood sugar level to become too high.

There are two main types of diabetes:

  • type 1 diabetes – where the body's immune system attacks and destroys the cells that produce insulin
  • type 2 diabetes – where the body doesn't produce enough insulin, or the body's cells don't react to insulin Type 2 diabetes is far more common than type 1 diabetes.

Things that you can do to reduce your risk of diabetes include the following:

Reduce your weight

Type 2 diabetes is often linked to being overweight. That means there are steps you can take to reduce your risk of developing it. Reducing your weight helps to lower your risk of type 2 diabetes.

Your waist and diabetes risk

Your waistline may indicate that you're carrying extra body fat, and are therefore at risk.

  • All women have an increased risk of diabetes if their waist measures more than 80cm (31.5 inches).
  • White or black men have an increased risk if their waist measures more than 94cm (37 inches).
  • Asian men have an increased risk if their waist measures more than 90cm (35 inches).

Eat well

A healthy, balanced diet can help reduce your risk of heart disease.

You should try to eat:

  • at least five portions of different fruit and vegetables
  • plenty of starchy foods, especially wholemeal bread, brown rice and pasta
  • some meat, fish, eggs, beans and other non-dairy sources of protein
  • some milk and dairy foods – choose lower-fat varieties
  • just a small amount of food and drinks high in fat, sugar, or both

Cut down on fat

Reduce your total fat intake, especially saturated fat. These lead to increased cholesterol, so are bad for your heart. Foods high in saturated fat include butter, hard cheese, fatty meat, biscuits, cakes, cream, lard, suet, ghee, coconut oil and palm oil. Include small amounts of unsaturated fats, which are good for cholesterol levels. Foods high in unsaturated fat include oily fish, vegetable oils and spreads, and nuts and seeds.

Grilling, steaming, poaching, boiling or microwaving your food instead of roasting or frying means you don't need to add fat when you're cooking.

Eat less sugar

Cut down on sugary foods and drinks so you have them only occasionally in small amounts. Cakes, biscuits, chocolate, sweets and some fizzy and juice drinks contain "free sugars". Free sugars include the sugars added to food or drink, as well as the sugars found naturally in honey, syrups and unsweetened fruit juice.

Get moving

An active lifestyle can reduce your risk of developing heart disease. Past activity levels don't count: it's how active you are now that matters. Regular exercise can lower your blood pressure, cholesterol levels and weight. Adults should do 150 minutes of moderate activity every week. No matter how active you are, sitting down for long periods is unhealthy and linked to weight gain. You can reduce the amount of time you spend sitting by building activity into your day, and taking breaks when you do have to stay seated for a long time.

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