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November is American Diabetes Month – Are you at risk?

Marilyn Gordon Ed.D, RDN CSSD LDN
Registered Dietitian Nutritionist

The American Diabetes Association estimates that 86 million Americans have prediabetes and are at risk for developing type 2 diabetes. Some health organizations project that 1 in 3 adults in the United States will have diabetes by 2050 unless we take action. The diagnosis of diabetes is costly to the individual as well as the entire health care system. Currently the total national cost of diagnosed diabetes in the United States is $245 billion. One in 10 healthcare dollars is spent treating diabetes and its complications.

Do you have one or more of the following risk factors?

  • You are overweight.
  • You have a sedentary lifestyle.
  • A parent or sibling has diabetes.
  • You are African American, Hispanic/Latino, Native American, Asian American or Pacific Islander.
  • You had a baby that weighed more than 9 pounds at birth or you had gestational diabetes.
  • You have high blood pressure.
  • You have high triglycerides.
  • You have low HDL-cholesterol (the good one).

Actions you can take today:

  • Schedule an appointment to see your healthcare provider. They will assess your risk factors.
  • Become more active. Go for a walk or stretch periodically throughout the day.
  • Improve your diet by eliminating simple sugars from sweetened drinks, candy, and desserts.
  • Begin to practice portion control; you may need to reduce your rice, pasta, potato serving to 1 cup or less at a meal.
  • Make heart healthy lean protein selections such as fish, seafood, and white meat poultry.
  • Increase your intake of a variety of vegetables; set a goal of 3 cups or more per day.
  • Fruit is all natural but concentrated in simple sugars. Eat whole fruit; avoid fruit juices.

For additional tips and recipes, visit www.diabetesforecast.org/adm.