Tips to delay or prevent diabetes
April 01, 2008
Are you at risk for developing type 2 diabetes? More and more adults and children are developing type 2 diabetes; over one million new cases were diagnosed in the U.S. in 2005. This is largely because of poor eating habits and a lack of physical activity.
Did you know that you could delay or even prevent diabetes? Even people with "pre-diabetes" (blood sugars higher than normal but not high enough to be diagnosed as diabetic) can prevent the onset of diabetes by making a few changes to their lifestyle.
While some medications can help in the delay of diabetes, studies have conclusively shown that diet and exercise work even better. In fact one study showed that 30 minutes of moderate physical activity 4 to 5 days of the week, together with a 5-10% weight reduction resulted in a 58% reduction in diabetes.
- Pick from the rainbow of colors fruits and vegetables and eat them often. Try to get at least 3 servings of vegetables and 2 servings of fruit every day.
- Eat low fat proteins in all of your meals - including your snacks. This, together with good quality, high-fiber carbohydrates can help control your blood sugars. For example, a small apple with a string cheese, or low fat cottage cheese or a handful of almonds with a piece of fruit, or a tablespoon of natural peanut butter on a slice of whole grain bread.
- Avoid processed foods and eat more whole grains. Give different grains like quinoa, millet, and barley a try in place of white rice and pasta. They aren't as scary as they may sound!
- Eat beans and lentils more often.
- Substitute grilled or poached fish for red meat and chicken 2-3 times per week.
- When eating meats, choose the leanest ones: "loin" cuts and sirloin are lean, remove skin from poultry.
- When it comes to dairy products — milk, yogurt, and cheese - make them low fat or nonfat.
- Don't drink your calories. Choose water or calorie-free beverages and try to get 8 8-oz servings per day.
- And, as always, watch your portions. Eating too much of any food, healthy or not, will increase your weight which puts you at risk for diabetes.
- Get Fit
- Exercise lowers blood sugars, blood pressure, and blood cholesterol. It also reduces your risk for heart disease and stroke. Regular exercise helps your insulin to work better and improves circulation. It also helps lower weight.
- Choose an activity you enjoy and do it often. Start slow and build up the frequency, intensity and/or time.
- Make exercise a part of your routine — treat it like you would any appointment. You'll feel better if you do! Make your health a priority!
To find out if you are at risk for developing diabetes, visit www.diabetes.org. Beaver Medical Group hosts classes that help people manage their diabetes. The disease is prevalent in the Inland Empire — in fact, over 700 people attend Beaver Medical Group's diabetes classes each year. Call Health Education at 909-335-4131 for meal planning ideas and more information on diabetes and your health.