Health & wellbeing

Healthy eating tips to prevent Type 2 Diabetes

Here, we'll guide you towards eating healthily so you can reduce your risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.

Having a healthy balanced diet can help reduce your risk of Type 2 diabetes.

If you’ve found out you’re at risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, you probably have some questions about food. The good news is, looking at your food choices can make a big difference and help you take those first few steps to reduce your risk.

On the WW programme, you'll eat well and discover fresh tastes. You have a personalised SmartPoints® Budget that guides you to healthy choices without banning any foods. Plus, we offer ZeroPoint™ foods (which you don't have to weigh, track or measure) to multiply your meal possibilities. 

Foods designated as ZeroPoint foods were chosen because they help form the foundation for a healthy eating pattern. Plus, they're much less likely to be overeaten than other foods (it’s a lot harder to eat six apples than six cookies!). 

 

5 more tips to reduce your risk…

 
1. Don’t skip breakfast

Missing breakfast on a regular basis can increase your chances of developing type 2 diabetes, because blood glucose is naturally low in the morning – so when you skip your first meal, it falls further. It also means that when you do finally eat, your blood glucose will rise quickly, which could up your risk of diabetes. A bowl of porridge oats is a good way to start the day, as it’s high in fibre and is low GI, so you’ll have a slow energy release throughout the morning.

2. Top up on vitamin D

According to research, people suffering from type 2 diabetes are often deficient in vitamin D, a vitamin that helps reduce inflammation associated with insulin resistance. Usually, we’re able to make enough vitamin D from sunlight, by exposing bare arms and our faces for short periods each day. But during the winter months we don’t always get enough sun, so you might consider a daily 10mcg vitamin D supplement.

3. Up your good gut bacteria

Researchers in the US have found that bacteria that escapes the protective mucus layer of the colon can cause inflammation, which may contribute to insulin resistance. Other studies have found that probiotics can help reduce this inflammation and boost the ability of cells to respond to insulin. To support your gut bacteria, aim to eat at least one serving of fermented foods, such as yogurt or dairy drinks containing probiotics, each day.

4. Stop stressing

You probably already know that stress can affect your health in many ways, but one surprising effect is that the stress hormone, cortisol, can increase the concentration of glucose and fats in the bloodstream. When this happens over periods of time, it makes your cells less sensitive to insulin. Feeling overwhelmed? Try chatting through your feelings with a friend, your WW Coach, Online Coach or even your GP. Talking it out could help you manage your stress or get extra support if you need treatment to help you relax.

5. Get enough sleep

Getting enough shuteye is vital to help your body regulate hormones related to a number of functions, including appetite. Researchers studying prediabetics found that those who slept fewer than five hours a night were 70 per cent more likely to progress to diabetes. To get the best quality sleep possible, try decluttering your mind before bed by writing a to-do list for the next day.