If you have a family history of diabetes, or you've been told by a health care professional that you're at risk for type 2 diabetes, it's important to take steps now to reduce your risk. Studies show that people at high risk for type 2 diabetes can prevent or delay the onset of the disease if they lose as little as 10 pounds - by walking 30 minutes a day, five days a week and making healthy food choices.
A healthy diet doesn't have to be expensive. Start by planning meals and making a grocery list ahead of time to take charge of what you eat. Follow these tips while grocery shopping to help you and your entire family make healthy food choices.
- Don't go to the store hungry. You may buy food you don't need.
- Read and compare food labels. Choose foods with fewer calories that are lower in saturated fats, trans fats, cholesterol, sodium (salt), and added sugars. Check the serving size and the number of servings. Food labels are based on one serving, but many packages contain more. When you compare calories and nutrients between brands, check to see if the serving size is the same.
- Focus on fruits, vary vegetables. Buy a variety of frozen, canned, or in-season fresh fruits such as melons, berries, and oranges rather than fruit juice for most of your fruit choices. Choose fruit without added sugar or syrup. Buy in-season, leafy dark green vegetables such as broccoli and spinach, and orange vegetables such as carrots or squash. Choose vegetables without added salt, butter, or sauces.
- Look for calcium-rich foods. Buy low-fat or skim milk instead of whole milk. If you can't drink milk, choose fat-free or low-fat lactose-reduced milk or try calcium-rich leafy green vegetables such as kale or collard greens.
- Make your grains whole. Buy whole wheat bread, crackers, cereals, brown rice, oatmeal, and barley.
- Go lean with protein. Buy lean meats. For poultry, remove the skin before cooking. Vary your protein choices with more fish, nuts, seeds, beans and peas such as pinto beans and split peas.
For a free copy of "Get Real! You Don't Have to Knock Yourself Out to Prevent Diabetes," call 1-888-693-6337.