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How to Take Action to Prevent Type 2 Diabetes

How to Take Action to Prevent Type 2 Diabetes

January 27, 2015
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By: Lauren Lange MSH,RD,LD/N

Good news! It is proven that type 2 Diabetes is preventable! In general, watching your weight, staying active & eating healthy can lessen your risk of type 2 diabetes.

Everyone knows “to eat right & exercise” in order to prevent or delay disease. But, let’s get into more specifics & break down the recommendations to help with your understanding.

Watching your weight:

People that are high risk for developing diabetes can prevent or delay the onset of the disease by losing 5 to 7 percent of their body weight. For example, if someone weights 200 pounds- that translates to 10 to 14 pounds of weight loss. Bonus, weight loss can also improve your blood pressure too!

A registered dietitian can provide individualized diet counseling that can help you meet your weight loss goals. You may be thinking, that costs a lot of money though? Not necessarily, due to the Affordable Care Act, health plans must cover diet counseling for people at high risk for diseases such as, type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure. Some insurance may cover diet counseling at no cost to you.

Find a registered dietitian that can help make an individualized nutrition plan for you at: http://www.eatright.org/programs/rdnfinder/
Check with your insurance provider to see which services are covered.

Staying active:

American Heart Association (AHA) Recommendation

Get At least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity at least 5 days per week for a total of 150 minutes/week
At least 25 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity at least 3 days per week for a total of 75 minutes; or a combination of moderate- and vigorous-intensity aerobic activity
Moderate- to high-intensity muscle-strengthening activity at least 2 days per week for additional health benefits.

What is moderate-intensity physical activity?
  • Walking briskly (3 miles per hour or faster, but not race-walking)
  • Water aerobics
  • Bicycling slower than 10 miles per hour
  • Tennis (doubles)
  • Ballroom dancing
  • General gardening

What is Vigorous-Intensity?
  • Race walking, jogging, or running
  • Swimming laps
  • Tennis (singles)
  • Aerobic dancing
  • Bicycling 10 miles per hour or faster
  • Jumping rope
  • Heavy gardening (continuous digging or hoeing)
  • Hiking uphill or with a heavy backpack

Find more exercise information at: http://www.cdc.gov/physicalactivity/everyone/guidelines/adults.html#Aerobic

Eating healthy:

Eat a balanced diet. Focus on including plenty of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, lower-fat milk products, seafood, lean meats and poultry, eggs, beans, peas, seeds, and nuts.  I like to practice eating as close to nature as possible, focusing on whole, less processed foods & avoiding or minimizing packaged foods. Try to minimize Cholesterol, sodium (salt), added sugar, trans  fats (found in foods like cakes, cookies, stick margarines, and fried foods), saturated fats (found in animal products like cheese & fatty meats), and foods made with refined grains (white bread, noodles, white rice, and flour tortillas).

Access an article outlining some research on a eating an overall healthy diet & preventing type 2 diabetes risk at: http://consumer.healthday.com/diabetes-information-10/misc-diabetes-news-181/eating-right-helps-prevent-type-2-diabetes-in-women-695456.html
Get a personalized meal plan at: http://www.choosemyplate.gov/myplate/index.aspx
Access your GAME PLAN to prevent type 2 Diabetes at:  http://www.ndep.nih.gov/publications/PublicationDetail.aspx?PubId=71#page3
Now you can come up with a plan “to eat right & exercise, right?!

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