Approximately 1 in 10 Americans have type 2 diabetes, and a large percentage of people have not been diagnosed and don’t know they have it.
Type 2 diabetes is the most common type of diabetes and can occur at any age, but most frequently diagnosed around 45 years of age. If you have a family history of diabetes and are 45 years of age or older, you are at risk for developing type 2 diabetes.
In addition to age and family history, modifiable lifestyle choices can influence diabetes risk. For example, food choices, activity level and weight status can contribute to, or reduce risk.
Here are 3 tips to reducing the risk of developing type 2 diabetes:
1. Aim for a healthy weight.
If you are overweight, losing 5% to 10% of your weight through healthy eating and exercise can help your insulin work better and lower your blood sugar. This means that a person who weighs 200 pounds can greatly improve their health by losing 10-20 pounds.
2. Increase movement.
It is recommended to discuss with your medical provider before beginning any exercise program.
- Exercise at least 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week.
- Walking is an excellent activity and typically safe for most people.
- Make it fun by doing a mix of different exercises like running, biking, hiking, lifting weights, or dancing. Speak to your doctor to see what types of exercise are safe for you.
3. Eat a healthy diet.
Carbohydrates provide sugar for energy and should be part of a balanced meal which also includes proteins, vegetables, and healthy fats. Choose carbohydrates that are high in fiber and/or protein, such as: whole grains, fruit, beans, and low-fat dairy.
These are the risk factors for developing type 2 diabetes:
- Have prediabetes.
- Are overweight.
- Are 45 years or older.
- Have a parent, brother, or sister with type 2 diabetes.
- Are physically active less than 3 times a week.
- Have ever had gestational diabetes (diabetes during pregnancy) or given birth to a baby who weighed over 9 pounds.
- Are an African American, Hispanic or Latino, American Indian, or Alaska Native person. Some Pacific Islanders and Asian American people are also at higher risk.
- If you have non-alcoholic fatty liver disease you may also be at risk for type 2 diabetes.
The good news is that CHPW provides free access to care and support for those with an existing diabetes diagnosis as well prevention for those at risk of developing diabetes.
Here are some ways to help manage diabetes to stay healthy longer:
- Eat balanced meals and snacks that include protein, vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and healthy fats.
- Be active most days.
- Test your blood sugar often.
- Take medication as prescribed.
- Learn ways to manage stress.
- Cope with the emotional side of diabetes.
- Go to checkups.
- See a Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Care and Education Specialist for further diabetes management support.
Call 1-866-418-7008 today to access professional care and support to improve and protect your long-term health and wellbeing.
- Learn more about the CHPW Diabetes Care Program
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