The food we eat provides us with energy in the form of glucose. However, if you have diabetes, glucose builds up in your blood and cannot get into your cells to be used for energy. When glucose levels remain high, over time, it can cause damage to your eyes, kidneys and nerves.
You are at a greater risk of diabetes if you:
- Have a family history of diabetes
- Are overweight
- Do not exercise
- Are Hispanic/Latino, American Indian, Alaska Native, African American, Asian American, or Pacific Islander.
To keep your blood glucose levels within a normal range and reduce your risk of diabetes, try the following:
- Don’t Skip Meals – Eat breakfast, lunch, dinner, and one or two healthy snacks per day.
- Eat Salad Daily – eat a healthy salad with a wide variety of vegetables and skip the dressing.
- Drink water – Instead of soda, fruit drinks, or sport drinks, be sure to consume at least 5 glasses of water per day.
- Eat foods high in fiber – A high fiber diet includes whole grain breads, brown rice, and legumes.
- Eat small portions – Small portions (the size of your fist) of baked, broiled or grilled fish, meat, poultry, low-fat cheese, and soy products is best.
- Skip candy bars and chips – When snacking, grab a piece of fruit, some nuts or a low-fat yogurt.
- Fill at least half of your plate with vegetables – If you’re still hungry, have seconds of the veggies, not the main course.
- Do not supersize your order – If you find yourself at a fast-food restaurant, order small, regular sized meals, not super sized.
- Limit pizza night – When ordering pizza, choose thin crust cheese or veggie varieties and eat no more than two slices.
- Exercise, exercise, exercise – Aim for 60 minutes of exercise every day – no excuses.