Diabetes is a health condition that millions of Brits are living with, and there are a few lifestyle choices that can be made to help prevent it.

People with diabetes have a blood sugar level which is too high, which is caused by a lack of insulin in the body or the insulin not working properly.

Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas which helps break down glucose and turns it into energy.

Diabetes is broken down into two types, with type 1 being a lifelong condition where the body's immune system attacks and destroys the cells that produce insulin.

Meanwhile, type 2 is when the body does not produce enough insulin, or the body's cells do not react to insulin properly.

Diabetes UK estimates more than 5.6 million people in the UK are living with diabetes, with around 90% of those being type 2.

You may be more at risk of type 2 diabetes if you are overweight and do not have a healthy diet, so Andrew Isaac, a Vitality Health and Wellness coach, has shared a few lifestyle choices to make to help prevent it.

Three lifestyle choices to help prevent diabetes

1. Get active

Exercising regularly helps make our body's cells more receptive to insulin which in turn means our body can use glucose more efficiently.

Andrew explained: "It is estimated that 35% of the UK population are currently inactive, which is contributing to declining health and increased levels of non-communicable diseases such as type 2 diabetes, and therefore increased incidence of hospitalisation. 

"Our research has shown that people can reduce their type 2 diabetes risk by up to 41% by walking 10,000 steps, three times a week, for three years."

Regular exercise also improves the heart and circulation reducing the risk of cardiovascular diseases which are commonly associated with diabetes. 

2. Have a balanced diet

A key part of trying to prevent type 2 diabetes is to reduce carbohydrates in your diet and increase the amount of fibre you're eating.

Discussing the negative effects of carbohydrates, Andrews said: "This food group has a direct impact on blood sugar as they are broken down into glucose during digestion.

"Therefore, limiting carbohydrates prevents spikes of blood sugar levels and maintains a more consistent level. Reducing our intake also reduces the amount of insulin the body needs to produce which in turn reduces insulin resistance."

Meanwhile, fibre can slow glucose absorption as it forms a gel-like substance in the gut which helps reduce the rapid sugar spikes after meals.

Andrew adds: "The advice for adults is to aim for 30g of fibre a day, made up of whole grains, pulses, fruits, nuts, seeds, and vegetables. But if you don’t currently eat much fibre it’s advisable to build this up slowly to allow your body to adjust."

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3. Reduce your intake of processed food

Processed food can negatively impact diabetes management and increase the risk of developing it as they are often high in added sugars and contain refined carbohydrates such as white flour and sugar.

These are quickly digested and absorbed leading to rapid spikes in blood glucose levels.

Andrew adds: "They also contain unhealthy fats such as trans fats and saturated fats which can lead to weight gain, insulin resistance and inflammation, all factors known to be associated with developing diabetes."