November is National Diabetes Month. This year’s focus is on prediabetes and preventing type 2 diabetes. Prediabetes is when your blood sugar runs higher than normal and puts you at an increased risk of developing diabetes. More than 1 in 3 American adults have prediabetes, but most don’t know they have it. By making healthy lifestyle changes, you can decrease your risk of prediabetes and diabetes. Small steps make big differences. Here are some tips to help manage prediabetes and prevent diabetes.
- Take small steps. Making changes to your lifestyle and daily habits can be hard, but you don’t have to change everything at once. It is okay to start small. Remember that setbacks are normal and do not mean you have failed—the key is to get back on track as soon as you can.
- Move more. Limit time spent sitting and try to get at least 30 minutes of physical activity, 5 days a week. Start slowly by breaking it up throughout the day.
- Choose healthier foods and drinks most of the time. Pick foods that are high in fiber and low in fat and sugar. Build a plate that includes a balance of vegetables, protein, and carbohydrates. Drink water instead of sweetened drinks.
- Lose weight, track it, and keep it off. You may be able to prevent or delay diabetes by losing 5 to 7 percent of your starting weight.
- Seek support. It is possible to reverse prediabetes. Making a plan, tracking your progress, and getting support from your health care professional and loved ones can help you make the necessary lifestyle changes.
Do you or someone you know have prediabetes or diabetes? The Jackson County Department of Public offers diabetes education and support. For more information, call 828-586-8994.