Eating well—and adding activity to your daily routine ( move more)
Nearly 114 million individuals are living with prediabetes and diabetes today.
That means that 1 out of 11 people has diabetes, with someone being diagnosed every 21 seconds. With those alarming rates, it’s likely that yourself, a loved one, a friend or a co-worker is living with prediabetes or diabetes.
When it comes to prediabetes, there are no clear symptoms—so you may have it and not know it. Here’s why that’s important: before people develop type 2 diabetes, they almost always have prediabetes—blood sugar levels that are higher than normal but not yet high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes. You may have some of the symptoms of diabetes or even some of the complications. Check with your doctor and get tested. If you discover that you do have prediabetes, remember that it doesn’t mean you’ll develop type 2, particularly if you follow a treatment plan and a diet and exercise routine. Even small changes can have a huge impact on managing this disease or preventing it all together
Middle aged and older adults are still at the highest risk for developing type 2 diabetes but with early detection and awareness, you can take steps to prevent or delay the onset. Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes. It means that your body doesn’t use insulin properly. And while some people can control their blood sugar levels with healthy eating and exercise, others may need medication or insulin to help manage it.
Keep healthy choices readily available in order to prepare low carb / low sugar meals or snacks.
You Have the Power to Change Things
Start exercising and healthy.
A key part of preventing and managing type 2 diabetes is maintaining a healthy diet and staying active. You need to eat sustainable meals that help you feel better and still makes you feel happy and satisfied. Remember, it’s a process. Work to find helpful tips and diet plans that best suit your lifestyle—and that can make your nutritional intake work the hardest for you.
Eating doesn’t have to be boring.
It’s all about finding the right balance that works for you. When managing diabetes, your eating plan is a powerful tool. But eating healthy can feel boring and dull, right? Well, it doesn’t have to because there are tons of things you can do to add flavor to your daily routine—including healthy twists on your favorite foods.
Most importantly, remember that eating well—and adding activity to your daily routine (moving more)— are important ways you can manage diabetes.
Food groups that you should be aware of.
Carbs are tricky for everybody. But knowing how much and what type of carbs you can have in your diet is important for managing diabetes—because the balance between how much insulin is in your body and the carbohydrates makes a huge difference in your blood sugar levels.
12 MILLION, OR 1 IN 4 ADULTS AGE 65 OR OLDER HAVE DIABETES
There are three main types of carbohydrates in food— starches, sugar and fiber. As you’ll see on the nutrition labels for the food you buy, the term “total carbohydrate” refers to all three of these types. And as you begin counting carbohydrates, you’ll want to stay away from food that has high carbs and instead choose a more balanced nutrient mix of carbs, protein, and fat.
Foods high in starch include:
- Starchy vegetables like peas, corn, lima beans and potatoes
- Dried beans, lentils and peas such as pinto beans, kidney beans, black-eyed peas and split peas
Grains like oats, barley and rice (The majority of grain products in the US are made from wheat These include pasta, bread and crackers, but the variety is expanding to include other grains as well.)
As for sugar, there are two main types:
- Naturally occurring sugars such as those in milk or fruit
- Added sugars such as those added during processing such as fruit canned in heavy syrup or sugar added in to a cookie
On the nutrition facts label, the number of sugar grams includes both added and natural sugars.
As for fiber, remember that it comes from plant-based foods, so there’s no fiber in milk, eggs, meat, poultry, and fish. Healthy adults need between 25 and 30 grams of fiber a day.
Good sources of dietary fiber include:
- Beans and legumes like black beans, kidney beans, pintos, chick peas, white beans, and lentils
- Fruits and vegetables, especially those with edible skin (like apples and beans) and those with edible seeds (like berries)
- Nuts—try different kinds. Peanuts, walnuts, and almonds are a good source of fiber and healthy fat, but watch portion sizes, because they also contain a lot of calories in a small
Whole grains such as:
- Whole wheat pasta
- Whole grain cereals, specifically those with three grams of dietary fiber or more per serving, including those made from whole wheat, wheat bran, and oats
“What can I eat?” is the #1 question asked by people with diabetes when they are diagnosed. Our 2019 nutrition consensus report reviewed over 600 research articles in the last 5 years with our panel of scientists, doctors, endocrinologists, diabetes educators and nutritionists to see what dietary patterns work well for people with diabetes. Everyone’s body responds differently to different types of foods and diets, so there is no single “magic” diet for Diabetes. But you can follow a few simple guidelines to find out what works for you to help manage your blood sugar.
Eat good to feel good.
Healthy eating doesn’t have to be complicated. By using these simple tips, you can learn how to create an eating plan that is good for your body. For tasty and healthy recipes, each featuring the nutritional values visit the American Diabetes Association’s Diabetes Food Hub at diabetesfoodhub.org.
For more information on prediabetes, type 2 diabetes, nutrition and meal planning, visit diabetes.org.