November: Diabetes Awareness Month

November 12, 2014 Cheryl Smith Awareness and Prevention, Diabetes, Heart Health

Diabetes-Awareness-Month-November-6November is Diabetes Awareness Month! According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 1.9 million adults in the United States are diagnosed with diabetes every year.  Affecting men and women of all backgrounds and ages, diabetes can cause serious health complications, including blindness, kidney failure, heart disease, stroke, and the loss of lower limbs.  During National Diabetes Month several organizations and groups rally together to bring awareness, education and support for helping our communities adopt a healthy lifestyle.

Most commonly diagnosed in young people, type 1 diabetes has no known method of prevention.  However, it can be managed with regular exercise, good nutrition, and proper medication.   Type 2 diabetes accounts for roughly 90 to 95 percent of diagnosed cases of diabetes in adults, and the risk of developing it is commonly associated with older age, obesity, physical inactivity, and a family history of diabetes.

Here are a few simple steps that will make a huge difference in your commitment to managing and/or preventing the disease:

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  • Eat Whole Foods– The easiest way to ensure you are eating the right kinds of foods- avoiding processed foods all together. Whole foods include vegetables, fruits, nuts, eggs, and lean meats. When grocery shopping, make it a point to spend a lot of time in the produce section and avoid the middle of the store where packaged foods are found.
  • Exercise for 30 Minutes Each Day– We know it can be difficult to make time for yourself to exercise, but you owe it to your family to do this! Create accountability, engage family and friends to help you get active and stay that way!
  • Cook at Home– Even if you like to add a bit of extra butter to home-cooked meals, it will still be far healthier than anything you could order in a restaurant. On average, a meal consumed while dining out will cost you a minimum of an extra 200 calories.
  • Portion Control– Try filling your plate with 2/3 of what you think you need. Then wait 15 minutes before going back for seconds. This is the amount of time your brain and body need to communicate you are full. You will be surprised at how satisfied you feel if you allow your body the time to process food without over-indulging.
  • Avoid Alcohol– The main ingredient found in alcohol whether it is wine, beer, or spirits is sugar.
  • Read Nutrition Labels– If you choose to purchase packaged foods, get into the habit of reading nutrition labels. You may find disturbing information once you start to study the nutritional content and ingredients.
  • Track Numbers Daily– It has been proven that tracking your daily food and water intake is one of the best ways to make progress towards goals. When faced with a cupcake following dinner, it’s easy to forget about the piece of pie you ate after lunch. Many people are surprised to see how much they consumed over the course of the day when they look back at their log. Look for helpful Smartphone Apps to make this an easy and efficient process!Start today with these simple steps! Stay tuned for more helpful information throughout the month!

Start today with these simple steps! Stay tuned for more helpful information from CPR Choice throughout the month!

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