Stay lean and stay active – Men’s best bet for avoiding diabetes


Guys, are you on the path to developing diabetes? As men, it isn’t easy talking about health. Most men ignore warning signs of possible diabetes, such as difficulty achieving an erection, urinary tract infection, frequent urination throughout the day, or several nighttime trips to the bathroom. While these below-the-belt symptoms can accompany many conditions, they also affect men with prediabetes or type 2 diabetes. Are you taking steps now to prevent this chronic disease?

Simple steps for preventing diabetes

Men are at a greater risk than women for developing diabetes. The latest statistics show that 37.4% of American men have this disease compared to 29.2% of American women. Diabetes places men at a greater risk for several chronic and deadly health conditions such as heart disease, stroke, vision loss, kidney failure, or amputation of a toe, foot, or leg. A significant reason men have higher numbers of diabetes than women is they store fat deep within their abdominal area. In addition, men are more likely to go undiagnosed since they often fail to seek health care. 

Furthermore, men with a family history of diabetes (such as parents, grandparents, and siblings) are at a higher risk. 

However, men, you can take simple steps today to avoid a diabetes diagnosis. Lifestyle changes can completely avoid 9 in 10 cases in America. Even better, these same changes also lower your risk for heart disease and some cancers. 

The best slogan for dodging diabetes is to stay lean and stay active. Even if you already have a diagnosis of diabetes, following these tips can help you better manage the disease keeping you healthier. Let’s take a look at what steps men can take to avoid a diabetes diagnosis:

  • Reach a healthy body weight

It sounds cliché, but losing weight reduces the risk of diabetes. The American Diabetes Association recommends even just a 5% to 10% weight loss can help cut your risk in half and reverse the disease from progressing.  For men to achieve healthy body weight, it requires following a carbohydrate-controlled meal plan along with regular, consistent exercise. Request a referral from your doctor to a registered dietitian who can provide in-depth information on safe weight loss that is achievable and can be followed long-term.

  • Increase physical activity

Too much sedentary time leads to weight gain, loss of muscle mass, reduced bone strength, and increased risk of developing diabetes. In addition, physical activity demands the muscles to use insulin to help absorb glucose from the bloodstream.  Reducing the amount of glucose from the bloodstream puts less stress on the cells of the pancreas to make insulin. So, trade sitting time for moving time.

The trick to exercise is to spread it throughout the day.  In other words, keep your body guessing and moving periodically instead of walking for 30 minutes in the morning and then sitting the rest of the day. For instance, go ahead and do your morning walk, but also include 5-minute breaks every hour of physical activity – do jumping jacks, jump rope, walk in place, walk while talking on your cell phone, do planks, sit-ups, and so on. These exercise ‘snacks’ will keep your metabolism – the rate at which you burn calories – elevated all day long. 

  • Make eating healthy foods a priority

The single biggest factor in helping men avoid a diabetes diagnosis making healthy food choices. Plant-based foods are a great start.  Fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, seeds, and whole grains, provide important vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants to reduce inflammation and improve immune functioning. 

Plant-based foods also provide fiber which promotes:

  • Weight loss by slowing digestion and creates a feeling of fullness 
  • Slows absorption of sugars, helping lower blood sugar
  • Interferes with absorption of unhealthy fat and cholesterol
  • Good gut health for the gut microbiome

Healthy, fiber-rich foods include:

  • Fruits, such as pears, raspberries, apples, peppers, and berries
  • Nonstarchy vegetables, such as leafy greens, broccoli, asparagus, and carrots
  • Legumes, such as beans, chickpeas, and lentils
  • Whole grains, such as whole-wheat pasta, whole-grain bread, whole-grain brown rice, and oatmeal

Include healthy fats – monounsaturated and polyunsaturated – which promote healthy blood cholesterol and vascular health. Good fat sources include:

  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Nuts and seeds, such as walnuts, cashews, pistachios, almonds, flaxseeds, pumpkin seeds, and chia seeds
  • Fatty fish such as albacore tuna, salmon, cod, mackerel, and halibut


Avoid or limit red meat and processed meat such as bologna, pepperoni, sausage, bacon, and hot dogs. Also, skip sugary beverages, which include any beverage with sugar, such as soda, lemonade, sweet tea, sports drinks, coffee with sugar, and flavored milk (e.g., chocolate or strawberry).


  • Do not smoke

Men who smoke are putting themselves at risk for heart and lung disease. However, smoking is also linked to developing type 2 diabetes. Men who smoke have a 50% greater risk of diabetes than nonsmokers.  Men, who currently smoke, should talk with their doctor about how to kick the habit. 

  • Choose water as the main beverage

To prevent blood sugar spikes, men should choose calorie-free beverages, such as water, unsweetened green or herbal teas, unsweetened coffee, and low-fat milk. However, water should be their first choice for quenching thirst. Calorie- and sugar-free water won’t raise blood sugar levels and helps prevent dehydration. In fact, drinking sufficient water aids the body in eliminating excess sugar through the urine, preventing blood sugar highs. Men should aim to drink about 13 cups of fluid each day, primarily water. 

Men, who prefer water with a flavor, can get creative by:

  • Adding orange, lemon, or lime slices
  • Adding sprigs of herbs such as basil, lemon balm, or mint
  • Crushing fresh or frozen raspberries and mixing them into water


Dr. David Samadi is the Director of Men’s Health and Urologic Oncology at St. Francis Hospital in Long Island. He’s a renowned and highly successful board certified Urologic Oncologist Expert and Robotic Surgeon in New York City, regarded as one of the leading prostate surgeons in the U.S., with a vast expertise in prostate cancer treatment and Robotic-Assisted Laparoscopic Prostatectomy.  Dr. Samadi is a medical contributor to NewsMax TV and is also the author of The Ultimate MANual, Dr. Samadi’s Guide to Men’s Health and Wellness, available online both on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Visit Dr. Samadi’s websites at robotic oncolo gy and prostate cancer 911. 

Stay lean and stay active – Men’s best bet for avoiding diabetes
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Dr. David B. Samadi