Health & Fitness
Healthy Diet & Nutrition

A Three-Step Program to Prevent Diabetes

While preventing Type 2 diabetes may seem like an impossible goal, there are steps you can take to reduce your risk. Here, from the experts at the National Diabetes Education Program, are three steps you can take right now.

Step 1: Move More

Plan to get at least 30 minutes of physical activity five days each week to help you lose weight. You can get this amount in small ways throughout the day. If you have not been active, talk to your doctor and start slowly to build up to your goal.

Here are some ideas to fit more physical activity into your day:

Park your car farther away from stores, movie theaters, or your office.

Use TV breaks to stretch, take a quick walk around your home, do some sit-ups, or march in place.

Get your friends and family involved. Set a standing walking date. Or do something that everyone enjoys—shoot hoops, take a bike ride, or line dance.

Walk during your lunch break.

Deliver a message to a co-worker in person instead of by email. Take the stairs to your office instead of the elevator.

Step 2: Make Healthy Food Choices

Choose foods that are low in fat, sugar, and calories to help you lose weight. Limit portion sizes.

Start today to:

Eat a variety of colorful vegetables and fruits.

Choose whole grain foods—whole wheat bread and crackers, oatmeal, brown rice, and cereals.

Lower fat intake—broil or bake poultry, meats, and fish instead of frying.

Lighten your recipes by using nonfat or low-fat milk, yogurt, cheese, sour cream, cream cheese, or mayonnaise. Use cooking spray instead of oil.

Avoid getting too hungry by eating a healthy snack between meals.

Do not keep chips, cookies, or candy in your home. Instead, for snacks have raw vegetables, fruit, low-fat or nonfat yogurt, or a handful of nuts, pumpkinseeds, or sunflower seeds.

Choose water to drink.

Here are some good ways to determine whether your portions are the right size:

1/2 cup of cooked rice or pasta = An ice cream scoop

1 1/2 ounces of cheese =  Four dice

3 ounces of meat or fish = Deck of cards

2 tablespoons peanut butter = A ping pong ball

Step 3: Start Your Game Plan to Prevent Diabetes

The key to losing weight and preventing diabetes is to make long-term changes that work for you—every day.

Taking these steps is a great way to get started.

Reprinted with permission of the National Diabetes Education, part of the National Institutes of Health. For more information on diabetes-related issues, click here to visit the program’s website.



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