More than 41 million Americans are well on their way to developing diabetes and most don’t know it.
They have a condition called pre-diabetes, which means their blood
glucose levels are higher than normal, but they don’t yet meet the
criteria for diabetes. The good news is there is scientific proof they
can prevent or delay the disease.
Diabetes prevention is proven and possible. The key to diabetes
prevention is taking small steps towards living a healthier life,
according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ National
Diabetes Education Program.
The Diabetes Prevention Program, a landmark study sponsored by the
National Institutes of Health, found that people at increased risk for
developing diabetes can prevent or delay the onset of diabetes by
losing five to seven percent of their body weight. For an individual
weighing 200 pounds, that would be a weight loss of 10 to 15 pounds.
Here are five small steps you can take today to live a healthier life to prevent or delay diabetes.
1. Find out if you are at risk:
If you check any of the boxes below, you have an elevated risk of
developing type 2 diabetes. You can also talk to health care provider
at your next visit to help determine your risks.
-I am overweight.
-I have a parent, brother, or sister with diabetes.
-I am Asian American or Pacific Islander.
-I had diabetes when I was pregnant or I gave birth to at least one baby weighing nine pounds or more.
-My blood pressure is 140/90 or higher or I have been told that I have high blood pressure.
-My cholesterol levels are not normal – my HDL cholesterol (“good”
cholesterol) is less than 40 (for men) and less than 50 (for women), or
my triglyceride level is 250 of higher.
-I exercise fewer than three times a week.
Keep in mind that as people get older, their risk for type 2 diabetes increases.
2. Set realistic goals: Start with small changes. For example, choose
an activity you enjoy and be physically active 15 minutes a day for
this week. Each week add five minutes until you build up to the
recommended 30 minutes a day, five days a week.
3. Make better food selections: Cut down on fatty and fried foods, and
choose more fruits, vegetables, dried beans and whole grains.
4. Record your progress: Keeping a food and exercise log is one of the most effective ways to lose weight and keep if off.
5. Keep working towards your goal: making even modest lifestyle changes
can be tough in the beginning. Try adding one new healthy change a
week. There is no such thing as cheating when you’re making lifestyle
Don’t lose track of the big reward, focus on the positive things you’re doing to improve your health.
The Ramstein Health and Wellness Center is having a diabetes prevention class at 3 p.m. Nov. 30.
If you’re interested in learning about pre-diabetes and ways to prevent
diabetes, reserve your seat by calling 480-HAWC (4292) or 06371-474292.
Also, if you want to assess your risk go to
www.diabetes.org/phd/profile, diabetes personal health decisions, which
is a powerful new risk assessment tool developed through the American
(Courtesy of the Health and Wellness Center)