American Diabetes Month is a time to raise awareness of diabetes prevention and control. In the United States, more than 25 million people are living with diabetes and 79 million more are at risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Over time, if it’s not controlled, type 2 diabetes can cause serious health problems like heart disease, stroke and blindness. You may be at risk for type 2 diabetes if you:
- Are overweight
- Exercise less than three times a week
- Are over 45 years old
- Have high blood pressure or high cholesterol
- Are African American, Latino, American Indian, Alaska Native, Asian American or Pacific Islander
- Have a parent, brother or sister with diabetes
You can do a lot to lower your chances of getting type 2 diabetes by:
- Eating healthy
- Watching your weight
- Being active
- Controlling your blood pressure and cholesterol
What healthy food choices should I make? Eat smaller portions. Learn what a serving size is for different foods and how many servings you need in a meal.
Eat less fat. Choose fewer high-fat foods and use less fat for cooking. You especially want to limit foods that are high in saturated fats or trans-fat, such as:
- Fatty cuts of meat
- Fried foods
- Whole milk and dairy products made from whole milk
- Cakes, candy, cookies, crackers and pies
- Salad dressings
- Lard, shortening, stick margarine and nondairy creamers
What should I eat more of?
Consume more fiber by eating more whole-grain foods. Whole grains can be found in:
- Breakfast cereals made with 100% whole grains
- Whole grain rice
- Whole-wheat bread, bagels, pita bread and tortillas
Eat a variety of fruits and vegetables every day. Choose fresh, frozen, canned or dried fruit and 100% fruit juices most of the time. Eat plenty of veggies like these:
- Dark green veggies (e.g. broccoli, spinach, Brussels sprouts).
- Orange veggies (e.g. carrots, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, winter squash).
- Beans and peas (e.g. black beans, garbanzo beans, kidney beans, pinto beans, split peas, lentils).
What should I eat less of?
Eat fewer foods that are high in sugar, such as:
- Fruit-flavored drinks
- Tea or coffee sweetened with sugar
Use less salt in cooking and at the table. Eat fewer foods that are high in salt, such as:
- Canned and package soups
- Canned vegetables
- Processed meats
Research studies have found that moderate weight loss and exercise can prevent or delay type 2 diabetes among adults at high-risk of diabetes. Find out more about the risk factors for type 2 diabetes, what it means to have prediabetes, and what you can do to prevent or delay diabetes at http://www.diabetes.org.