By John Fairchild CPT, Nutritionist ADA, Employee Wellness Coordinator, Liberty Lutheran

Type II diabetes is the most prevalent form of diabetes affecting approximately 23 million children and adults in the United States. This type of diabetes typically emerges in middle aged and the elderly. Americans who are overweight and sedentary are also likely to be affected by Type II diabetes. The good news is that our weight and level of activity are in our control, so Type II diabetes is a condition that is highly preventable.

Approximately 79 million Americans have prediabetes, which is when a persons’ blood glucose, or sugar, levels are higher than normal. It is extremely important that we actively control our blood glucose and avoid the complications that diabetes brings. These complications include heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, damage to the eyes and nerve damage especially to the extremities.

The 1-2-3 preventive measure:

1. If you are overweight, lose it. A weight loss of five to seven percent can significantly improve blood glucose levels. Cut back on calories by reducing portions, limiting caloric beverages, reducing excessive snacking and eating on the run less often. For more help on these topics please visit www.choosemyplate.gov.

2. Improve your eating habits. Include more non-starchy vegetables, fruits, whole grains and beans into your day. Avoid alcohol, fried foods, high fatty foods, sugar laden foods and sodas.

3. Exercise most days of the week. Staying physically active and starting an exercise routine makes it easier for the body to process sugars in the blood. Brisk walking, aerobic activities, strength training and any active hobby will be extremely beneficial. A little exercise is better than no exercise.

Prevention is the best medicine. Any step that can be taken, whether big or small, will enable the nation to stay on the right path in reducing many health risks. For more detailed information please visit any of these sites:

www.ndep.nih.gov/media/gp_foodacttracker.pdf

www.yourdiabetesinfo.org

http://www.diabetes.org

http://www.cdc.gov/diabetes

 

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