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November Is Diabetes Awareness Month - What’s Your Risk?

November Is Diabetes Awareness Month - What’s Your Risk?

By Stefanie Rekdal, BS, RD, CDCES, CPT
Team Leader & Diabetes Educator

Did you know that more than one of every three adults has prediabetes? Nine out of ten don’t even know they have it. With lifestyle changes, you can prevent diabetes before it starts.

ASSESS: How many of the following risk factors do you have?

  • Age 45+
  • Black, Hispanic/Latino, American Indian, Asian American or Pacific Islander
  • Family history of diabetes (parent or sibling)
  • Overweight
  • Physically inactive
  • High blood pressure or take medicine for high blood pressure
  • Low HDL cholesterol and/or high triglycerides
  • History of diabetes during pregnancy
  • Diagnosis of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)

TAKE ACTION: If you have several of the risk factors above, consider making some simple lifestyle changes to reduce your risk of developing diabetes.

  1. Move more – Be intentional about sitting less and moving more. Try marching in place during commercial breaks while watching your favorite show. Park further at work or when shopping. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Opt for a walk in the park with a friend rather than meeting at a restaurant. Be creative and find fun ways to add more movement to your daily routine.
  2. Map out your meals – Plan a weekly menu using the balanced plate as a guide to provide your body with the proper fuel mix. Fill half of your plate with a colorful variety of non-starchy veggies. Then divide the other half of your plate between a lean protein such as chicken or fish and a whole grain like quinoa or brown rice. Planning ahead allows you to save time in the grocery store and maintain control of your intake.
  3. Achieve a healthy weight – It is not necessary to lose a large amount of weight to prevent diabetes. A five to ten percent weight loss (equal to 10-20 pounds for a 200-pound person) can significantly impact your health and well-being.
  4. Stay on track – Enlist a family member or friend to be your accountability partner. Check-in regularly and consider keeping records of your intake and exercise to help make you more aware of your daily choices.

Together we can fight off diabetes and enjoy a healthier life! For more information, visit the MWHC Diabetes Management.