Most people with type 2 diabetes require medication to control their blood sugar levels. Even so, following a healthy lifestyle is still important. Here’s what to focus on:
- A healthy diet. In general, the healthiest diets abound in plant-based foods, including fruits, vegetables, nuts, and whole grains. The Mediterranean diet and the DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet are two notable examples of healthy diets that will help you manage diabetes and cardiovascular disease risk.
- Weight management. Strong and consistent evidence shows that moderate weight loss can slow the progression of type 2 diabetes and even lead to its prolonged reversal in some people who are overweight or obese—but weight loss and healthy habits must be maintained.
- An active life. Exercise improves blood glucose control, reduces cardiovascular risk, contributes to weight loss and healthy weight management, and improves your overall sense of well-being. One way to become more active is to reduce the amount of time you are sedentary. Beyond that, most adults with diabetes should aim for 150 minutes or more of moderate to vigorous activity a week.
This article first appeared in the January 2020 issue of UC Berkeley Health After 50.