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Can Diabetes Be Prevented?

The American Diabetes Association (ADA) reports that diabetes can be prevented, or the onset can be delayed, by the right exercise and a proper diet.

Preventing diabetes should be your number one priority, especially if you are in a high risk group: American Indian, African American, Hispanic American, Asian Americans, Native Alaskans, Pacific Islanders, and all people over the age of 40. Diabetes is almost twice as common in Mexican American and African Americans as it is in whites. Over 20 percent of elderly Americans have diabetes and nearly 1 in 4 adults over the age of 65 have the disease.

What can you do help prevent diabetes? You can start by making a few adjustments to your lifestyle.

  • Get physically active. Thirty minutes of exercise per day such as walking, swimming, biking, gardening, bicycling, strength training, jogging, and dancing can be a hugh benefit in preventing diabetes.
  • What you eat, the amount you eat, and how you cook what you eat is also an important in diabetes prevention and care. The ADA recommends a diet that include lots of vegetables and fruits, fish, and lean meats, and non-dairy products. Vegetables should be non-starchy, such as spinach, green beans, broccoli, lentils, whole grains, and carrots. Food should be cooked in liquid oils instead of saturated and trans fats.
  • You should avoid sugar as much as possible. This includes cakes, cookies, sugar sweetened soft drinks, chips, and full-fat ice cream.
  • Stay away from salt and salty foods such as bagged chips and canned vegetables. If you eat canned vegetable, they should be washed in clean water.
  • If you are overweight, try shedding some of those extra pounds. Studies have shown that each pound you lose can improve your health by reducing the risk of developing diabetes.
  • When it comes to type 2 diabetes — the most common type of diabetes — prevention is a big deal. It's especially important to make diabetes prevention a priority if you're at increased risk of diabetes, for example, if you're overweight or have a family history of the disease. In the United States alone, experts at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention expect diabetes to affect more than 48 million people by 2050.

It is highly recommended that you talk with your doctor about diabetes and if you should be tested. It is very important that you get tested, and if you have diabetes, it is even more important that you get treatment as soon as possible.

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