17 Simple Changes to Prevent Diabetes

Prediabetes is when fasting glucose (blood sugar) levels are higher than normal (70-110 ml/dl), but not yet high enough to be considered diabetic. For most people, prediabetes is preventable or even reversible through achieving and maintaining a healthy weight with physical activity and a healthy diet.

A few simple lifestyle changes can help you prevent or reverse prediabetes. Use these tips to help you move more and make healthy food choices every dayand to help you dodge diabetes! 

  1. Park your car farther away. Find spots closer to the back of parking lots when you go to stores, movie theaters, or your office for an easy way to get a few extra steps. 
  2. Make the most of short breaks. Use TV commercial breaks to stretch, take a quick walk around your home, do some sit-ups, or march in place. 
  3. Get your friends and family involved. Set a standing walking date, or do something else that everyone enjoys. 
  4. Talk face-to-face. Deliver a message to a coworker in person instead of by email. 
  5. Step it up. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. 
  6. Track your steps. Invest in an inexpensive, wearable activity tracker that counts your steps per day. Start with aiming for 5,000 steps, and build up to 10,000 per day. 
  7. Shoot for two or three strength training sessions a week. Each should include eight to 12 repetitions of eight to ten exercises. Hand weights and stretch bands are an easy option to have in your home without the expense of joining a gym. 
  8. Get colorful. Eat a variety of colorful vegetables and fruit every day. 
  9. Choose whole-grain foods. Incorporate foods, such as whole-wheat bread and crackers, oatmeal, brown rice, and whole-grain cereals, into your diet. 
  10. Lower your fat intake. Broil or bake poultry, meats, and fish instead of frying. 
  11. Lighten your recipes. Use nonfat or low-fat milk, yogurt, cheese, sour cream, cream cheese, or mayonnaise. Use cooking spray instead of oil. 
  12. Avoid getting too hungry. Try eating a healthy snack between meals, such as a small apple, orange, or raw carrots. 
  13. Learn to read food labels. You may be surprised by the total calories, fat, and sugars in foods you eat regularly. 
  14. Limit sweets, especially sugar-sweetened drinks. Even the naturally occurring sugars in 100% fruit juice may raise your risk. 
  15. Do not keep chips, cookies, or candy in your home. Instead, have raw veggies, fruit, low-fat or nonfat yogurt, or a handful of nuts, pumpkins seeds, or sunflower seeds for healthier snack alternatives. 
  16. Drink more water. Try infusing your water with fruits or veggies like strawberries or cucumber slices to give it a little added flavor. 
  17. Know your portions. Most people tend to serve too-large portion sizes, which is called "portion distortion." 
    1. ½ cup of rice or pasta = an ice cream scoop 
    2. 1 ½ ounces of cheese = four dice 
    3. 3 ounces of meat or fish = a deck of cards
    4. 2 tablespoons of peanut butter = a ping pong ball

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Last updated 1/23/2018