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Defeat Diabetes Month

By Marci Wright, UT Health East Texas

Are you over the age of 35? Are you overweight? Do you have high cholesterol, high blood pressure or a family member with diabetes? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you may be at risk for developing diabetes. The good news is that diabetes can be prevented. April is Defeat Diabetes Month and here are five simple tips to help you do just that.

  1. Lose weight. The American Diabetes Association recommends a 7% to 10% weight loss for diabetes prevention, which would be about 15-20 pounds for many people. The next four tips can help you with that weight loss. 
  2. Get moving. Begin with 5 to 10 minutes and work up to 30 minutes of activity most days of the week. Have a backup plan for indoor physical activity when the weather is too hot, too cold or too wet.  For ideas to get started, visit the American Diabetes Association website:
  3. Fill half of your plate with plate with non-starchy vegetables at lunch and dinner. This is a great strategy to improve cholesterol, blood pressure and lose weight. Non-starchy vegetables include foods such as broccoli, green beans, carrots, tomatoes, squash, cabbage, asparagus and salads.  
  4. Avoid sugary beverages, such as soft drinks, juices, lemonade and sports drinks.  Replace sugary beverages with plenty of water to stay hydrated.
  5. Do not add a batter to meat, poultry and fish. Bake, broil, roast or grill meats. Use cooking spray or small amounts of olive oil for cooking needs. 

The American Diabetes Association recommends that all people age 35 and older be screened for diabetes. Prevention and early detection are key to preventing the complications of diabetes to the heart, eyes, kidneys and nerves. 

For more information about diabetes, contact UT Health Diabetes University at 903-535-6354.

Marci Wright, MS, RD/LD, CDCES, is a Diabetes Educator with UT Health Diabetes University