Diabetes Affects More Than 37 Million Americans
What is Diabetes?
You or someone you know probably lives with diabetes. It is a chronic disease that affects how the body turns food into fuel. The most common form of diabetes is type 2 diabetes, where there is excess sugar in the blood. High blood sugar can, in turn, lead to health issues such as heart disease, vision loss, and kidney disease. Diabetes is a serious health problem as shown by the statistics: it’s a chronic disease shared by more than 37 million Americans, and it’s the seventh-leading cause of death in the United States. While there is no cure yet, it is quite possible to manage as well as prevent type 2 diabetes.
Prevention & Management of Diabetes
There are risk factors for diabetes that are unavoidable due to genetics and family history. However, there are lifestyle changes that are in your control such as physical activity and healthy eating. Managing blood sugar is crucial. Lifestyle choices such as having a healthy diet and regular physical activity more than three times a week can help lower blood sugar.
Diet and Nutrition
In particular, your diet is an important cornerstone in the fight against diabetes. The foods you eat and how much you eat are vital in the management of blood sugar. A fad diet might work in the short term, but evidence shows it is an unsuccessful strategy in the long term.
Instead, you should eat healthy, balanced foods that you like and that you can keep eating in the long term. To avoid boredom, your diet should be varied. You should choose foods lower in fat, calories, salt, and sugar over foods that are highly processed carbs and refined grains. More fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins should become a pillar of your diet. You should drink more water and skip the sugary drinks. It’s also important to be aware that carbohydrates often cause the biggest impact on your blood sugar levels. In addition to eating varied healthy foods, you should manage portion size as it’s easy to eat more food than you realize.
Once you start with a guide for the healthy foods that can help with the prevention and management of diabetes, you can tailor it to your personal preferences.
To learn more about how you can prevent and manage diabetes, you can visit cdc.gov/diabetes/index.html