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American Diabetes Month is all about educating the American people about how small changes in diet and exercise can make a big difference with prediabetes and diabetes. We at Our Family Direct Primary Care hope to be a resource for diabetes management. Keep reading for our advice this American Diabetes Month.

Risk factors

  • Having prediabetes
  • Being overweight or obese
  • Being 45 or older
  • Having high blood pressure
  • Being a person of color

Managing Diabetes

  1. Skip fad diets. Fad diets are diets that are not backed by science and become popular due to their ability to make you lose weight rapidly. These are not good to follow because they stress out your body and can end up causing you to gain more weight in the long run. 
  2. Lose weight. Losing just 5-10% of your current body fat can make a big difference in preventing or managing diabetes. 
  3. Eat healthy fats. Limit unhealthy or unsaturated fats found in fried foods, red meat, and full-fat dairy products. Instead, stick to avocados, fish (especially salmon), nuts, and seeds.
  4. Cut sugar. Sugar can lead to inflammation and increased cravings. Use alternative sweeteners such as stevia and eat fruit instead of candy or baked goods.
  5. Exercise. Exercise reduces your stress hormones and helps you sleep better which are two factors that help you not overeat. You don’t have to do a specific kind of exercise; it’s really what feels best for you and makes you want to get moving! You could try walking, team sports, swimming, or weight lifting. 
  6. Eat more fiber. Fiber fills you up with fewer calories and aids your digestive system. You can find fiber in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, and lentils.
  7. Drink water and unsweetened beverages. You may know you should be eating less sugar, but the same applies to what you’re drinking. Stick to unsweetened teas and water to keep you hydrated. Need a bit more flavor? Try a sugar-free drink packet. 

See your doctor if…

The American Diabetes Association recommends routine screening with diagnostic tests for type 2 diabetes for all adults age 45 or older and for the following groups:

  • People younger than 45 who are overweight or obese and have one or more risk factors associated with diabetes
  • Women who have had gestational diabetes
  • People who have been diagnosed with prediabetes
  • Children who are overweight or obese and who have a family history of type 2 diabetes or other risk factors
  • People with PCOS

Don’t wait for the new year—this American Diabetes Month, take care of your health. Make a plan to visit your doctor to discuss your health concerns, including diabetes prevention and management. Give us a call today to schedule an appointment. 

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