It’s Not Too Late to Help Prevent Type 2 Diabetes

December 2015

Did you know that as you get older, you have a greater chance of developing type 2 diabetes? Your risk increases if you are age 45 or older, are overweight or obese, or if you have a family history of diabetes. You can take steps to help prevent or delay getting type 2 diabetes. Eating a healthy diet makes a difference. If you are overweight, losing even a modest amount of weight can help. Taking steps to lose weight can include eating smaller meal portions and choosing healthy foods. Here are a few tips to help you get started.

  • Eat more fruits and vegetables and fewer high-fat foods.
  • Choose whole-grain foods such as whole-wheat bread, brown rice, oatmeal and barley.
  • Choose fish, lean meat and chicken and turkey without the skin.
  • Eat foods that have been baked, broiled or grilled instead of fried.
  • Drink water instead of juice and regular soda.

Reduce portion sizes. Fill half of your plate with fruits and vegetables. Fill one quarter with a lean protein, such as chicken or turkey or beans. Fill one quarter with a whole grain, such as brown rice or whole-wheat pasta. Share your main dish when eating out or wrap half of it to go.

  • Eat small amounts of heart-healthy fats. Examples include nuts, seeds and vegetable oils.

Start now to get moving — and have fun! Moving more and sitting less can help you lose weight or stay at a healthy weight. It also can help you improve your strength and become more flexible. Ask your doctor how you can safely start to be more active. Find ways to move more every day. Add more activity each day until you reach at least 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week.

  • Get off the couch, turn on the music and dance!
  • Do not sit for long periods of time. (The Internet will still be there when you return from that walk!)
  • Walk around the house while you talk on the phone.
  • Park your car farther away from your destination and walk if it is safe.
  • Stretch after being active.
    Brisk walking is a great way to be active. During a brisk walk, you walk faster than your normal pace. Start with 10 minutes a day if you have not been active. Walk slowly for a few minutes to warm up and then increase your speed over time. Wear walking shoes that fit your feet and provide comfort and support.
  • Always talk with your doctor before starting any exercise program.

Source: National Diabetes Education Program

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