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Diabetes: How to lower your risk

Larissa Warneck
September 14, 2018

In 2017, over 450 million people globally had diabetes. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle can help prevent Type 2 diabetes. Two newly released reports reveal how you can lower your risk of developing the disease.

A person holds a stomach roll of fat
Image: Colourbox

The importance of a good night's sleep

In a study involving mice, researchers at Toho University Graduate School of Medicine in Japan discovered that losing only one night — or six hours — of sleep increases the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.

The group of sleep-deprived mice had much higher blood sugar levels, and the production of triglycerides in the liver also increased. Triglycerides are fats associated with insulin resistance, a hallmark of diabetes.

Read more: Myths and facts about diabetes

Additionally, sleep deprivation led to changes in liver enzymes that are responsible for regulating the liver's metabolism.

The researchers' results show that sleep deprivation is definitely a risk factor for diabetes. A good sleep routine is therefore important for preventing diabetes in people with an already increased risk.

Wholegrains against diabetes 

A daily dose of wholegrains, such as oats, wheat or rye, can reduce the risk of developing diabetes.

In a large study, researchers at Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden and the Danish Cancer Society Research Center analyzed the eating habits of over 55,000 diabetes-free participants.

Mice nesting inside a loaf of whloegrain bread
These mice are lowering their diabetes risk by eating wholegrain bread

The participants were asked to list the types of wholegrain products they consumed each day. Items listed included bread, muesli and porridge.

Read more: Inactivity puts adults worldwide at risk of disease

After 15 years, the researchers followed up with the participants. The results showed that people who ate wholegrains each day had a lower risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.

"When it comes to wholegrains, the research results are clear. Among the many studies which have been made, in varied groups of people around the world, there hasn't been a single study which has shown negative health effects," concludes Rikard Landberg, senior researcher of the study.