6 Surprising Habits that Raise Your Risk of Diabetes

Anyone trying to lower their risk of diabetes knows better than to eat processed carbs or drink sugary drinks. Surprisingly, your risk of diabetes may rise even when you’re not engaging in these deadly habits.

Some daily habits you consider harmless may be causing insulin resistance and raising your blood sugar, thus increasing your risk of diabetes. Luckily, quitting these habits won’t just lower your risk of diabetes, but it will also remarkably improve your health and help you maintain your ideal weight.

woman standing at a kitchen counter pouring coffee into a cup

1. Pairing Starchy Vegetables with Simple Carbs

Starchy vegetables can help you maintain optimal health. They’re also ideal for weight loss, because they contain fiber and resistant starch (some of them), which help prevent overeating.

However, pairing starchy veggies with simple carbs can raise your blood sugar levels. For instance, a potato and rice combination is more likely to raise blood sugar compared to a potato and kale combination.

It’s best to pair starchy veggies with leafy veggies. You may eat simple carbs occasionally, but also pair them with leafy veggies.

2. Not Drinking Coffee

Some people consider drinking coffee a harmful habit, but it’s not. In fact, not drinking coffee can put your health in jeopardy.

Research has linked coffee to a longer lifespan. There’s also evidence indicating that drinking coffee can lower your risk of diabetes. When Harvard researchers analyzed several studies, they found that people who drink six cups of coffee a day have a 33 percent lower risk of type 2 diabetes compared to those who don’t drink coffee.

I understand if you feel that six cups a day is too much. I wouldn’t drink that much coffee, either. But chances are one to three cups a day may lower your risk, as well.

3. Not Eating Probiotics

You probably know there’s a strong link between gut health and overall health, and you may know probiotics improve your gut health. But did you know keeping your gut healthy can lower your risk of diabetes?

A diet that lacks probiotics may increase inflammation and insulin resistance. Conversely, eating probiotic-rich foods can improve insulin sensitivity, according to research.

Your diet will never lack in probiotics if you eat these probiotic rich foods regularly.

4. Being Inactive on Weekends

Weekend inactivity is one of the deadliest habits. Not only does it raise your risk of diabetes, but it can also make it extremely difficult for you to maintain your ideal weight. According to this study, your risk of diabetes goes up by 3.4 percent for every hour you spend sitting in front of the tube.

Staying active on weekends will give your health a massive boost. Go for long walks, play sports, go hiking or clean your house.

5. Getting Inadequate Sunlight Exposure

Sunlight exposure offers magical benefits. It makes you feel happier by triggering the release of serotonin, a feel-good hormone.

More importantly, sunlight exposure raises vitamin D levels, which consequently lowers your risk of diabetes. According to research, people who are vitamin D deficient have a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

Other than getting 20 minutes of sunlight exposure every day, eat foods loaded with vitamin D, such as maitake mushrooms and fortified foods.

6. Not Doing Strength Training

Strength training helps lower your risk of diabetes in two ways. For one, it improves insulin sensitivity, which helps regulate your blood sugar levels.

Secondly, strength training increases muscle mass, which boosts your metabolism and makes it easier to lose weight. It’s important to maintain your ideal weight, because weight gain has been linked to a higher risk of diabetes. Fortunately, other factors, such as activity level, can mitigate that risk, even if you don’t lose weight.

The good news is, you don’t have to become a gym rat to enjoy the benefits of strength training. Short home workouts like this one offer extraordinary benefits.

The simple lifestyle changes I’ve suggested above won’t just lower your risk of diabetes. They’ll improve your health and make you happier! So start implementing them today.

Photos via Getty Images


Mia B
Marta B3 days ago


Steven W
Steven W6 days ago

Thank you.

Daniel N
John N6 days ago

thanks for sharing

Lisa M
Lisa M6 days ago


Lisa M
Lisa M6 days ago


Danuta W
Danuta W7 days ago

Thank you for sharing,

Diane E
Diane E7 days ago

Thanks. Useful advice. By the way, my green stars are still suffering from "past member" problems, nut I am sending you all a green star, so I hope you receive them. Good luck and keep well.

hELEN hEARFIELD7 days ago


Linda W
Linda Wallace8 days ago

Thank you.

Jeramie D
Jeramie D8 days ago

But I love being a gym rat