Diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death in the US as new cases continue to be diagnosed at a rate of 4000 per day. This sobering statistic places millions of people at greatly increased risk of coronary heart disease, stroke, sudden death from a heart attack and contributes to the obesity epidemic.Diabetes is characterized by metabolic instability as a result of wild blood sugar spikes and insulin resistance which damages the delicate inner lining of the coronary arteries. New research demonstrates that intense lifestyle changes to diet, exercise and the surrounding environment can prevent both heart disease and diabetes initiation and progression.Intense Lifestyle Changes Required to Prevent DiabetesThe results of a study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine show that intense lifestyle changes including diet and exercise demonstrated significant decreases in body weight, lowered blood pressure and A1C blood glucose readings. Cardiovascular health also improved as blood pressure was reduced and HDL cholesterol levels increased.The study continued over the course of four years and found that compared to a control group, the lifestyle intervention participants experienced a considerably lowered risk of cardiovascular disease as well as biomarkers which predict diabetes. The study also found that the prescribed lifestyle intervention group also lost an average of 7% of their body weight. This is significant as research has shown that losing as little as 5% of total weight can reduce the risk of mortality from all causes.Diabetes is Caused by Poor Diet and Inactive LifestyleThe New England Journal of Medicine concludes that `the majority of cases of Type II diabetes could be prevented by the adoption of a healthier lifestyle`. Diet is the single most important factor which leads to metabolic dysfunction, loss of blood sugar and insulin control and excessive levels of triglycerides which become stored as abdominal fat.Many other factors contribute including lack of physical activity, smoking and environmental pollutants and toxins. Diabetes is a lifestyle disease which can be prevented by following a natural diet, getting regular exercise and limiting exposure to household and environmental toxins.Improving Blood Sugar and Lowering Cardio Risk FactorsDiabetes and heart disease are closely linked as diabetics run twice the risk of developing coronary artery disease and dying from a heart attack. In large part this is due to the damage caused by rapid swings in blood sugar after meals which are high in refined and processed carbohydrates and immediately released into the bloodstream. This damages the delicate endothelial lining of the coronary arteries leading to plaque buildup and vascular deterioration.Following a natural diet which excludes all sugar, processed carbohydrates, wheat and hydrogenated fats is the best strategy to prevent diabetes and related cardiovascular disease. Monitor your blood sugar at 1 and 2 hour intervals after eating and be sure that the reading stays below 140 mg/dl. Readings above this level are associated with dramatically increased risk of diabetic complications and promote heart disease.Modern medical science has been slow to uncover and reveal the real cause of diabetes and heart disease. Alternative health advocates have long known the healing power experienced by switching to a diet void of processed foods and eliminating household and environmental toxins. Those with the true desire to make permanent natural lifestyle changes will be able to prevent diabetes and heart disease while naturally promoting weight loss.