Diabetes: Make Wise Food Choices Most of the Time

What you eat has a big impact on your health. By making wise food choices, you can help control your body weight, blood pressure, and cholesterol.
  • Take a look at the serving sizes of the foods you eat. Reduce serving sizes of main courses such as meat, desserts, and foods high in fat. Increase the amount of fruits and vegetables.

  • Limit your fat intake to about 25 percent of your total calories. For example, if your food choices add up to about 2,000 calories a day, try to eat no more than 56 grams of fat. Your doctor or a dietitian can help you figure out how much fat to have. You can also check food labels for fat content.

  • Limit your sodium intake to less than 2,300 mg—about 1 teaspoon of salt—each day.

  • Talk with your doctor about whether you may drink alcoholic beverages. If you choose to drink alcoholic beverages, limit your intake to one drink— for women—or two drinks—for men—per day.

  • You may also wish to reduce the number of calories you have each day. People in the DPP lifestyle change group lowered their daily calorie total by an average of about 450 calories. Your doctor or dietitian can help you with a meal plan that emphasizes weight loss.

  • Keep a food and exercise log. Write down what you eat, how much you exercise—anything that helps keep you on track.

  • When you meet your goal, reward yourself with a nonfood item or activity, like watching a movie.

Be Physically Active Every Day

diabetes - exercising Regular exercise tackles several risk factors at once.
It helps you lose weight, keeps your cholesterol and blood pressure under control, and helps your body use insulin.

People in the DPP who were physically active for 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week, reduced their risk of type 2 diabetes.

Many chose brisk walking for exercise. If you are not very active, you should start slowly.

Talk with your doctor first about what kinds of exercise would be safe for you.

Make a plan to increase your activity level toward the goal of being active at least 30 minutes a day most days of the week.

Choose activities you enjoy. Some ways to work extra activity into your daily routine include the following:


fruits
  • Take the stairs rather than an elevator or escalator.
  • Park at the far end of the parking lot and walk.
  • Get off the bus a few stops early and walk the rest of the way.
  • Walk or bicycle whenever you can.

Take Your Prescribed Medications

Some people need medication to help control their blood pressure or cholesterol levels. If you do, take your medicines as directed. Ask your doctor about medicines to prevent type 2 diabetes.

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Hope Through Research

We now know that many people can prevent type 2 diabetes through weight loss, regular exercise, and lowering their intake of fat and calories. Researchers are intensively studying the genetic and environmental factors that underlie the susceptibility to obesity, pre-diabetes, and diabetes.

As they learn more about the molecular events that lead to diabetes, they will develop ways to prevent and cure the different stages of this disease.

People with diabetes and those at risk for it now have easier access to clinical trials that test promising new approaches to treatment and prevention.

For information about current studies, see www.ClinicalTrials.gov




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This valuable information gets to you thanks to the

National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse
1 Information Way
Bethesda, MD 20892–3560



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All material herein is provided for information only and may not be construed as personal medical advice. No action should be taken based solely on the contents of this information; instead, readers should consult appropriate health professionals on any matter relating to their health and well-being. The FDA has not evaluated these statements. None of the information or products discussed on this site are intended to diagnose, treat, mitigate or cure any disease.


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