Reduce Your Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes Today!

Woman adding salt to food in restaurant.

LloydsPharmacy Pharmacists Pareena Patel and Anshu Bhimbat offer their expert advice for reducing your risk of developing type 2 diabetes. 

Pareena Patel

Pareena Patel

Anshu Bhimbat

Anshu Bhimbat

1 Cut your salt intake

Consuming too much salt can raise blood pressure, which increases the risk of heart disease and stroke, which are closely linked to diabetes.

“Always try to purchase food with the ‘no salt added’ label. This means that no salt is added during the processing, but the product is not necessarily salt-or sodium-free, as it doesn’t account for food’s natural salt or sodium content. Try to compare nutrition labels on food packaging when doing your food shopping. ‘You can cut down your salt intake significantly by simply checking the label and choosing tinned goods, sauces or breakfast cereals that are lower in salt. Start simply and try choosing one food a week to check and swap when you’re food shopping.”

Woman adding salt to food in restaurant.

Pic: iStockphoto


2 Try the Dukan Diet

Being slightly stricter and harder to follow, people can expect to reap the benefits if monitored closely and safely.

“The Dukan diet is a short four week programme low in starchy carbs and fats, which is why it can be beneficial for those at risk of type 2 diabetes. The diet contains four key phases where each week you can introduce additional foods.  It can help promote weight loss in a short space of time, which ultimately can reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes, with weight around the middle being a key risk factor. Once you have finished the programme, you should try and cut down on starchy carbs as these are well known to cause blood sugar level spikes.”


3 Have regular health checks

Healthy levels of cholesterol are important to our overall health, however if we have too much bad cholesterol, it can impact the healthy blood flow within the body, potentially leading to blood clots. It is especially important for those at risk of type 2 diabetes to manage their cholesterol levels.

“Poor cholesterol control can lead to cardiovascular conditions, however, a regular check will allow you to understand your levels and make appropriate dietary and lifestyle changes, to reduce any other future health complications. LloydsPharmacy offer a cholesterol and heart check service which can easily be booked online for your local store. testing allows for changes to be made to your diet and lifestyle if required.”

You can speak to your local pharmacist about simple lifestyle changes you can make to reduce your type 2 diabetes risk, such as signing up to the LloydsPharmacy Type 2 Risk Reduction Guide.

Cropped shot of a doctor checking a patient's blood pressure

Pic: iStockphoto

4 Get to know GIs

It’s important to learn about the type of carbs that are likely to affect your blood sugar the most so that you can work to cut these out to help reduce your risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. The Glycaemic Index (GI) can tell you which foods will make your blood sugar spike (and these are the ones you want to try and avoid).

Anshu advises: “GI measures the effect foods containing carbs have on blood glucose levels and where possible you should avoid foods with a high GI as it means its carbs are absorbed quickly, which can raise blood glucose. High GI foods include white bread, potatoes and some breakfast cereals, low GI foods include sweet potatoes and yam, beans, lentils, oatmeal and granary bread, therefore try and substitute high GI foods to low GI.”

Jacket Potato with Baked Beans

Pic: iStockphoto


About LloydsPharmacy’s Type 2 Risk Reduction Guide


LloydsPharmacy launched a Type 2 Risk Reduction Guide. The guide has been developed by LloydsPharmacy in collaboration with the Leicester Diabetes Centre. The centre is a partnership between the NHS, the National Institute for Health Research, University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust, and is academically affiliated with the University of Leicester College of Medicine, and Biological Sciences. Participants of the programme will receive an email once a week for the course of 12 weeks.

Each email contains small tips and tricks for participants to lead a healthier and more active lifestyle, ultimately helping them to reduce their risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Whether it’s boosting your motivation, ideas of how to exercise for free or diet tips, all advice is manageable and achievable, supporting those at risk with achievable goals.

LloydsPharmacy Logo

The guide is available for people to sign up to online.

Those who would like to reduce their long-term risk can also sign-up online:

Moira Chisholm

I'm the Health Editor on My Weekly and am always interested to hear what's new in this fascinating field. I also deal with the gardening, shopping pages, general features, our website content and the Ask Helen problem page. I have a special interest in Christmas content because I'm on the team for Your Best Ever Christmas Magazine, too!