Sweet Truth- How can I prevent diabetes?

Your Health Matters

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Diabetes is a disease that occurs when your blood glucose (blood sugar) is too high. If left untreated, having too much glucose in your blood can cause health problems, such as heart disease, stroke, nerve damage, eye problems and kidney disease.

Type 2 diabetes is the most common type, but the “sweet truth” is you can take action to delay, prevent and manage diabetes.

If you're at increased risk of diabetes because you have a sibling or parent with the disease, or you are overweight or had gestational diabetes, it’s particularly important to take action to prevent diabetes.

Fortunately, it’s never too late to start making simple changes to avoid some of the serious health complications from diabetes. There are several things you can do to lower your risk of developing the disease.

1. Get more exercise

Get at least 30 minutes of physical activity 5 days a week. Talk with your healthcare provider about which activities are best for you.

2. Lose excess weight

If you're overweight, every pound you lose can help you prevent diabetes. It may be possible to delay or prevent diabetes by losing just 5-7% of your weight.

3. Improve your diet

Eating plenty of high-fiber foods including fruits, vegetables, beans, whole grains and nuts can reduce your risk of diabetes by improving your blood sugar control.

Know Your Numbers to Reduce Your Risk
Talk to your doctor to see if you should be tested for diabetes, since 25% of people with diabetes don’t know they have it. The American Diabetes Association recommends blood glucose screening if:

  • You're age 45 or older and overweight
  • You're younger than age 45 and overweight, with one or more additional risk factors for type 2 diabetes — such as an inactive lifestyle or a family history of the disease