Controlling Risk Factors for Diabetes
Diabetes is most often seen in those who are 45 years or older, overweight, have a family history of diabetes, and have high blood pressure and/or high cholesterol. It is most commonly found in African American, Latino, Native American, Asian American, or Pacific Islander populations.
Risk factors such as age, genetics, and ethnicity are not modifiable. However, many lifestyle-related risk factors can be modified.
To help reduce your risk for diabetes:
Eat a healthy diet:
- Plan out your meals.
- Shop smart—make a shopping list to match your meal plan.
- Avoid buying foods with added sugar.
- Do not skip breakfast.
- Keep healthy snacks like fresh carrots, nuts, or grapes readily available.
- Fill half your plate with non-starchy vegetables.
Increase your physical activity:
- Try going on a walk every night after dinner with your family.
- Get up every two hours from your desk and walk a lap around your building.
- Choose to take the stairs instead of the elevator.
- Aim for at least 30 minutes of physical activity a day, most days of the week.
Reach and maintain a healthy weight:
- If you are at a healthy weight, stay there!
- If you have a BMI of 25 or over, consult your doctor and dietitian about a weight loss plan to decrease your risk of diabetes.
- Set realistic goals for weight loss.
- Keep a record of what you eat and drink and your physical activity to help stay on target.
Having support, like walking buddy friends who also want to improve their health, can be fun and help you to reach your goal!
For more tips on healthy living with diabetes, check out: