Many diabetics treat their condition as a lifetime sentence to drugs and insulin--but it doesn't have to be that way for you.

Lifestyle changes trump lifetime meds every single time, and a new study proves it again.

Researchers randomly assigned 5,145 overweight diabetics to either lifestyle changes with an option to take meds if needed, or just meds with no changes.

Those who made those changes were put on diets of between 1,200 and 1,800 calories per day, given personal trainers to help them meet a goal of 30 minutes of moderate exercise per day, and taught how to control the temptations that ruin so many diets.

Four years into the planned 11-year study, and researchers say those changes are already paying dividends: The patients in the lifestyle change group have dramatically lowered their cardiovascular risk profile while taking fewer meds.

Like I said, good habits will do that for you every time.

But while the study in the Archives of Internal Medicine proves that lifestyle changes are the way to go... it doesn't actually go all the way.

The truth is, you don't have to restrict yourself to a borderline-starvation diet of 1,200 calories a day to lose weight and get control of your diabetes--just a commitment to a sugar-free lifestyle.

If you're willing to exorcise all the carbs and get some moderate exercise yourself, you can enjoy fresh, natural meats and vegetables until you're satisfied--with no need to count calories or walk around hungry all day.

Many diabetics who've made those simple changes no longer need insulin or diabetes drugs--and that may be the best benefit of all when you consider how bad those drugs are.

As I've been telling you, Avandia's notoriously deadly heart risk has led to it being severely restricted in the United States and banned outright in Europe.

And the other meds aren't much better.

As I mentioned recently, Avandia's main competitor--Actos – has been linked to bladder cancer, and some studies have even found that it may also come with Avandia-style heart risks.

And since none of these drugs represent a cure, you could take them every day and still die early due to diabetes or a related condition.

So forget a lifetime of bad meds... and pick the lifestyle that'll save your life instead.