According to the CDC 34.2 million Americans have diabetes. That’s 1 in 10 Americans. Beyond that, 88 million American adults – 1 in 3 – have prediabetes.
Statistically, of the 300 of you that this newsletter goes out to 30 of you are currently dealing with managing your diabetes and even more of you are likely trying to lower your risk. That means this week’s focus on National Diabetes Month may pertain to you – whether you know it or not.
So what do we do? What can we do to manage or decrease our risks for developing diabetes? There is so much information on the internet, that it can become very overwhelming.
With all of the information available designed to help us, it may actually cause us into decision fatigue of what “rules to follow”, what “carbs to eliminate” and what recipes to make for the week. I’m here to tell you that it doesn’t have to be this complicated or restricted.
First of all – know your risk. You can determine your personal risk factor for diabetes by taking this quick and simple risk assessment test on the American Diabetes Association website.
Once you have determined your risk factor you can prevent/manage with nutrition and activity. Working step by step to the best of your ability will go further than trying to deep dive into complicated rules and elimination.
Reduce risk with nutrition:
- Utilize the Diabetes MyPlate (pictured above) to fill half of your plate with non-starchy vegetables, 1/4 of your plate with lean protein and 1/4 of your plate with whole grains or starchy vegetables.
- Swap saturated and trans fats (animal fats, butter, dairy, baked goods) with heart healthy fats (fats from olive oil, nuts, seeds, avocado and salmon) as much as possible.
- Watch your drinks – choose sugar free beverages such as water, unsweetened tea, carbonated essence water, unsweetened coffee).
- Choose plant based proteins (tofu, beans, lentils, etc) more often, heart healthy fish 2x weekly, and poultry. Choose beef and pork less often.
- Balance your meals and snacks to include a protein, fat and fruit or vegetable.
- Choose less processed foods and more real, Whole Foods.
- Look for high fiber (more than 5g per serving) and low added sugar (less than 3g per serving) when possible.
Reduce risk with lifestyle:
- Even a little activity makes a big difference. After checking with your doctor, small changes in increased activity can help reduce your risk for diabetes.
- Gradually work towards activity 150 minutes per week including both strength and aerobic exercise such as brisk walks.
- Smoking can increase your risk for diabetes significantly, so seeking guidance in quitting can help with your health and decrease your risk.
- Work on stress reducing activities such as better sleep, meditation and stretch based activities.
Still feel like a lot to manage? I am with you in this. Reach out to me for nutrition discussions and habit goal setting at firstname.lastname@example.org
Trish – your cafe Dietitian