Diabetes affects more than 29 million Americans. Another 86 million people – more than 1 in 3 adults – have prediabetes. For people with or at risk of diabetes, regular physical activity helps improve insulin sensitivity and glycemic control, has a positive effoect on blood pressure and cholesterol, and helps manage weight.
We can use this month to raise awareness about diabetes risk factors and encourage people to make healthy changes. Here are a ways you can encourage yourself or others you know to keep diabetes under control:
- Encourage people to make small changes, like taking the stairs instead of the elevator, or taking a short walk during the day.
- Get regular checkups, such as blood pressure, cholesterol and asking your doctor about your risk for diabetes.
- Replace sugary drinks with water. Adding fruits to water adds flavor without sugar.
- Eat more vegetables and and foods high in fiber such as:
- Dark green veggies (e.g., broccoli, spinach, brussels sprouts).
- Orange veggies (e.g., carrots, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, winter squash).
- Beans and peas (e.g., black beans, garbanzo beans, kidney beans, pinto beans, split peas, lentils).
- Breakfast cereals made with 100% whole grains.
- Whole grain rice.
- Whole-wheat bread, bagels, pita bread, and tortillas.
Diabetes is a chronic disease and one of the leading causes of disability and death in the United States. It can cause blindness, nerve damage, kidney disease, and other health problems if not controlled.