Diabetes Prevention: 6 New Tips
List Includes Moderate Weight Loss, Healthy Diet, and 2.5 Weekly Hours of Physical Activity
Aug. 25, 2006 -- Tweaking your lifestyle could be a big step towards
The American Diabetes Association has published new diabetes prevention
guidelines for people at high risk of type 2 diabetes, the most common type of
The guidelines appear in September's edition of Diabetes Care.
They're accompanied by recommendations for people who already know they have
type 2 diabetes.
The bottom line: Your daily habits can tilt you towards or away from
developing diabetes, and it's never too late to make a positive change.
Nearly 21 million people in the U.S. have diabetes. That includes about 6
million people who haven't been diagnosed, according to the CDC.
6 Tips for Diabetes Prevention
If you're at high risk for diabetes, here's your to-do list from the new
- Lose extra weight. Moderate weight loss -- 7% of your
weight -- may cut diabetes risk.
- Cut fat and calories from your diet. That should help with
- Skip low-carb or high-protein diets. They may not work out
in the long run.
- Get plenty of fiber. Get 14 grams of dietary fiber for
every 1,000 calories you eat.
- Go for whole grains. Make at least half your grains whole
- Get regular physical activity. Go for 2.5 hours per week
(check with your doctor first).
The guidelines don't recommend drinking alcohol for diabetes prevention.
Observational studies have tied moderate drinking to lower diabetes risk.
But there's not enough data to recommend alcohol for diabetes prevention,
according to the American Diabetes Association.
5 Tips for Diabetes Patients
Have you already been diagnosed with diabetes? There are new guidelines for
The dietary recommendations for people at high risk for diabetes generally
apply to diabetes patients. Additional tips for people with diabetes
- Eat healthy carbohydrates. Try fruits, vegetables, whole
grains, legumes, and low-fat dairy products.
- Limit saturated fats. Get less than 7% of your total fat
intake from saturated fats.
- Minimize trans fats. Check nutrition labels on packaged
foods for trans fat.
- Curb dietary cholesterol. Get less than 200 milligrams of
cholesterol in your daily diet.
- Eat fish at least twice weekly. Fried fish, however, isn't
Knowing about glycemic load and glycemic index, which rate carbohydrates'
effects on blood sugar, may also be helpful to people with diabetes, according
to the American Diabetes Association.
Diabetes doesn't always have obvious signs. But possible symptoms
- Increased thirst
- Increased hunger
- Increased urination, especially at night
- Weight loss
- Blurred vision
- Sores that don't heal
The earlier diabetes is diagnosed, the better. Check with your doctor to
screen for diabetes. If you already have diabetes, make sure you keep up with
recommended tests and checkups.