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, here are ten tips to reduce your risk of diabetes:
- Don’t skip meals – eat breakfast, lunch, dinner, and one or two healthy snacks.
- Eat salad daily with a wide variety of vegetables and do skip the dressing.
- Drink water instead of soda, fruit drinks, or sport drinks.
- Eat foods high in fiber, such as whole grain breads, brown rice, and legumes.
- Eat small portions (the size of your fist) of baked, broiled or grilled fish, meat, poultry, low-fat cheese, and soy products.
- Instead of candy bars or chips for snack, grab a piece of fruit 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
- If you find yourself at a fast-food restaurant, order small, regular sized meals, not super sized.
- If it’s pizza night, order thin crust cheese or veggie varieties and eat no more than two slices.
- Aim for 60 minutes of exercise every day – no excuses.