An 'essential' habit helps 'ward off the risk of diabetes' in Britons over 50

An 'essential' habit helps 'ward off the risk of diabetes' in Britons over 50
Diana Moran takes the GB News panel through her morning exercise routine
Anna Barry

By Anna Barry

Published: 20/01/2024

- 10:00

A pharmacist spoke exclusively to GB News about how over 50s can reduce their risk of developing diabetes

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

Type 1 diabetes is a lifelong condition where the immune system attacks and destroys the cells that produce insulin, while Type 2 diabetes is when the body does not produce enough insulin, or a person's cells do not react to insulin properly.

Type 2 diabetes can worsen over time and many people diagnosed with it will need to manage their condition with medication.

But according to a pharmacist, it is possible to reduce your risk of developing diabetes with a few simple lifestyle changes including living a more active lifestyle.

Woman getting ready to exercise in the park

A pharmacist offered a top tip for reducing the risk of diabetes - and anyone can do it


Pharmacist Navin Khosla at NowPatient spoke exclusively to GB News about what people over 50 can do to lower their chances of developing the condition.

Navin said: "As people age, the likelihood of developing diabetes tends to rise, underscoring the necessity for individuals over 50 to embrace lifestyle measures that support optimal health and mitigate diabetes risk.

"The significance of preventing diabetes is heightened for this age group, given that symptoms may only become apparent when blood sugar levels have reached alarming highs.

"Taking proactive measures can substantially diminish the risk of developing diabetes and its associated complications."

The expert told those over 50 that they must keep active to significantly lower their risk of a diabetes diagnosis.

Navin stated: "In the realm of diabetes risk reduction, regular physical activity is pivotal. Acknowledging the challenges that come with ageing, it's essential to recognise that movement may become slower and more challenging.

"However, engaging in moderate-intensity exercises remains essential to ward off the risk of diabetes."

This does not have to mean daily trips to the gym - over 50s should just find an exercise that works for them.

The expert said: "Activities as simple as brisk walking, swimming, or cycling for at least 150 minutes per week can significantly enhance insulin sensitivity and aid in weight management.

"Maintaining a healthy weight is particularly crucial, as excess body fat, especially around the abdomen, plays a significant role in diabetes risk.

People swimming

'Brisk walking, swimming, or cycling for at least 150 minutes per week can significantly enhance insulin sensitivity and aid in weight management'


"Incorporating strength training exercises at least twice a week is advisable, promoting the preservation of muscle mass and further contributing to weight management and metabolic health.

"Achieving a weight loss of five to seven per cent of one's total body weight can be transformative in diabetes prevention.

"Consistent monitoring and regulation of blood glucose levels, combined with effective stress management to reduce cortisol, contribute significantly to overall well-being. Staying well-hydrated, increasing fibre intake, and adhering to a regular sleep schedule further aid in minimising diabetes risk.

"Additionally, embracing lifestyle choices such as quitting smoking and moderating alcohol intake positively impacts overall health and contributes to diabetes prevention."

Navin concluded that people over 50 must schedule routine health check-ups - including blood glucose tests - to assess their risk.

For those who have already been diagnosed, the NHS recommends that sufferers can put their Type 2 diabetes into remission by losing weight, where their blood sugar is reduced below the diabetes range. Ensure you consult a doctor before starting a low-calorie diet.

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