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Diabetes Alert Day: Are you at risk?

“The American Diabetes Association’s Diabetes Alert Day is a “wake-up call” asking the American public to take the Diabetes Risk Test to find out if they are at risk for developing type 2 diabetes. With 86 million people living with pre-diabetes, most of whom are unaware, it’s important to take one minute to protect your health. I encourage you to take the risk test and share it with everyone you know!”

– Sarah Fried, ADA Region Vice President, Great Lakes

To see if you are at risk, take the Type 2 Diabetes Risk Test here or ask your Meijer pharmacist for a copy.

Better Your Odds Against Diabetes

Whether you have diabetes or are at risk, you can make lifestyle changes to reduce your risk. If you’re overweight, losing weight can significantly reduce the risk of complications, eliminate the need to take medications, and even prevent diabetes altogether. But losing weight is certainly not easy. It takes a concerted effort to increase activity and decrease calories consumed.  Move the odds in your favor by making some simple changes.

  1. Move more. Both aerobic exercise (which increases your heart rate like brisk walking, jogging, swimming or cycling) and strength training are important for overall fitness. However, the majority of us, even if we’re working out a couple times per week, aren’t moving enough. Try to get more active during your day.
    • Get more steps by taking the stairs, parking further from your destination, or including 2 minute walk breaks every hour. Check out these tips for reaching and maintaining 10,000 steps per day.
    • Set out weights or resistance bands in your living room so you remember to use them. Try these 15 exercises.
    • Try a group exercise class with a friend – water aerobics, yoga, pilates, or Zumba are all great ways to get moving.
  2. Decrease portion sizes. With super-sized portions at most restaurants, you’ll be able to better manage portions at home and likely save some money in the process.
    • Eat from smaller plates. The size of our dinner plates has grown from 9 inches in the 1960’s to almost 12 inches today. Filling up our plates today means we consume many more calories than 50 years ago.
    • Eat only to 80 percent fullness. Listen to your body’s signals and only eat until you are satisfied rather than overly stuffed.
    • Don’t forget about pre-made meals where portion control is already built in. Many options have less sodium than in years past.
  3. Eat smarter. Eating less will result in a calorie decrease, but you can also do that without giving up volume of food by choosing foods that are naturally lower in calories.
    • Choose more fiber-rich foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains. The increased fiber and water content of these foods will keep you feeling fuller longer without feeling deprived.
    • Choose lean protein sources like poultry, lean cuts of beef and pork, seafood, and plant-based proteins like beans and lentils.
    • Opt for calorie-free beverages like water or unsweetened tea. Sweetened beverages tend to add calories with little or no nutritional value.

Let Diabetes Alert Day be the first of these few simple steps to better your odds against diabetes. You can learn more about products to help manage your diabetes here.

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