November is Diabetes Awareness Month: 4 Prevention Tips
As the holidays approach, there's no better time to take stock of your health habits.
November is Diabetes Awareness Month, bringing to light a condition that affects up to 26 million Americans.
Helpful health tips
As you start preparing for the season of indulgent meals, less time outside and sweet treats at every turn, follow these tips to help control blood sugar and reduce your risk of developing diabetes.
- Exercise. You've heard it before, but it's worth repeating: Stay active this winter. Exercise helps your cells stay more sensitive to insulin, while also lowering your risk for heart attack, stroke, high cholesterol and hypertension. Aim for about 30 minutes of activity a day, at least five days a week.
- Clean up your plate. Diet is paramount in diabetes prevention. Eliminate or reduce processed foods and excess sugar from your meals. Focus on eating lean meats, complex carbohydrates and vegetables that grow above the ground (non-root vegetables). Eat moderate amounts of low-fat dairy products and healthy fats. Avoid "special" diabetic products and simply stick with whole foods.
- Lose belly fat. Excess weight carried around the abdomen raises your risk for diabetes. Fat accumulated here puts pressure on the organs that help to regulate insulin levels. Overall weight loss can usually eliminate fat in this area, but diet also plays a large role in belly fat.
- Watch your cholesterol. High cholesterol levels can also raise your risk for type 2 diabetes. To lower LDL or "bad" cholesterol levels, quit smoking, lose weight, exercise and increase monounsaturated fats in your diet by eating healthy fats like avocado and olive oil.
Learn more about Diabetes Awareness Month from the American Diabetes Association.
Source: American Diabetes Association