Changing your lifestyle could be a big step toward diabetes prevention — and it’s never too late to start.
The National Nutrition Month is a nutrition education and information campaign sponsored annually by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. The campaign is designed to focus attention on the importance of making informed food choices and developing sound eating and physical activity habits.
The theme for 2015 is “Bite into a Healthy Lifestyle,” which encourages everyone to adopt eating and physical activity plans that are focused on consuming fewer calories, making informed food choices and getting daily exercise in order to achieve and maintain a healthy weight, reduce the risk of chronic disease and promote overall health.
Diabetes prevention is as basic as eating more healthfully, becoming more physically active and losing a few extra pounds. Making a few simple changes in your lifestyle now may help you avoid the serious health complications of diabetes down the road, such as nerve, kidney and heart damage. Consider the latest diabetes prevention tips as we celebrate the 2015 National Nutrition month together;
Tip 1: Get more physical activity
There are many benefits to regular physical activity. Exercise can help you:
- Lose weight
- Lower your blood sugar
- Boost your sensitivity to insulin — which helps keep your blood sugar within a normal range
Research shows that both aerobic exercise and resistance training can help control diabetes, but the greater benefit comes from a fitness program that includes both.
Tip 2: Get plenty of fiber
- It’s rough, it’s tough — and it may help you:
- Reduce your risk of diabetes by improving your blood sugar control
- Lower your risk of heart disease
- Promote weight loss by helping you feel full
- Foods high in fiber include fruits, vegetables, beans, whole grains, nuts and seeds.
Tip 3: Go for whole grains
Although it’s not clear why, whole grains may reduce your risk of diabetes and help maintain blood sugar levels. Try to make at least half your grains whole grains. Many foods made from whole grains come ready to eat, including various breads, pasta products and many cereals. Look for the word “whole” on the package and among the first few items in the ingredient list.
Tip 3: Monitor your blood-glucose levels every day.
Some people resist checking their blood-sugar levels, but daily monitoring really is the only way to know if they are under control.
Tip 4: Take diabetes medication as directed.
Diabetes symptoms are silent, so you may not notice an immediate repercussion when you neglect to take your medicine — and that means far too many people decide against taking prescribed medications (or “forget” to take them).
Tip 5: Keep a food record.
As you are learning to gain control over your weight and blood sugar, it can be helpful to keep a log that includes some specific information about your eating habits.
Tip 6: If you smoke, quit.
Smoking increases the risk of developing diabetes, and once you have it, smoking makes every problem and complication associated with diabetes even worse. Smoking raises blood-glucose levels, constricts blood vessels, and causes inflammation, and smokers have an increased risk of kidney disease, nerve damage, blood-vessel damage, and foot and leg infections
Tip 7: Drink alcohol only in moderation…if at all.
Drinking between one-half and two alcoholic drinks per day has been shown to reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by an average of 30 percent, compared with nondrinkers or heavy drinkers.
Medical alert bracelets enable rapid identification of patients with a number of illnesses, including diabetes, which can make them unable to communicate their illness to others. Get one from myidentitydoctor.com as we celebrate the National Nutrition Month.