Diabetes: What You Can do to Reduce Your Risk or Regain Control
If you have diabetes or have been diagnosed with prediabetes, there is some good news: diet and lifestyle changes can prevent diabetes or lessen its impact on your life.
Here’s how you can reduce your risk and improve your health:
- Eat a healthy and balanced diet. Start with small changes like using smaller plates or putting less food on your plate. Make healthy food choices like
eating more vegetables, whole grains, foods higher in fiber, and fruits, but fruits should be in limited portions. Remember that too much fruit in a meal or snack can elevate your blood sugar. Avoid empty calorie high sugar drinks like regular soda, sports drinks and juice. A good balanced meal will have 50 percent vegetables, 25 percent carbohydrates and 25 percent proteins/fat. Following the New York My Plate method is a great start!
- Get Active and move more each day. The recommended goal is to be physically active at least 30 minutes daily. CLICK HERE for some small steps to increase physical activity!
- Manage your weight. Eating healthy and exercising daily can help you lose weight if needed or prevent weight gain.
- Visit your doctor and get screened
- If you are diagnosed with diabetes or prediabetes, learn about your condition and what you need to do to control it. Schedule an appointment to see a dietician or certified diabetes educator.
- If you have diabetes, you need to test your blood glucose regularly. You should know what your blood glucose goals are and what to do when your blood glucose is abnormal.
- Having a diagnosis of diabetes or prediabetes is not just about taking medications or insulin, but requires in addition that you follow a multistep plan of controlling your diet, exercising, testing your blood glucose, and managing your weight.
Loquintha Rex Vital, CMHS’s Inpatient Diabetes Specialist Nurse Practitioner, said education is critical to understanding your disease.
“Knowledge of what you need to do to manage your health condition is the key to success. It doesn’t matter how long you have had diabetes, you can always learn something,” she said. “Diabetes treatments continue to evolve and better treatments, equipment, and technology continue to be discovered. See a diabetes educator in your community.”