Controlling Risk Factors For Diabetes

Diabetes is most often seen in those who are 45 years or older, overweight, have a family history of diabetes, and have high blood pressure and cholesterol. It is most commonly found in African American, Latino, and Native American, Asian-American, or Pacific Islander populations.

Risk factors such as age, genetics, and ethnicity cannot be controlled; however, many lifestyle related risk factors can and should be controlled. To help control your risk for diabetes:

Increase your physical activity

  • Try going on a walk every night after dinner with your family
  • Get up every two hours from your desk and walk a lap around your building
  • Choose to take the stairs instead of the elevator
  • Aim for at least 30 minutes of physical activity a day, most days of the week

Eat a healthy diet

  • Plan out your meals
  • Shop smart — make a shopping list to match your meal plan
  • Avoid buying foods with added sugar
  • Don't skip breakfast
  • Keep healthy snacks like fresh carrots, nuts, or grapes readily available
  • Fill half your plate with vegetables

Reach and maintain a healthy weight

  • If you are at a healthy weight — Stay there!
  • If you have a BMI of 25 or over, consult your doctor and dietitian about a weight loss plan to decrease your risk of diabetes
  • Set realistic goals for weight loss
  • Keep a record of what you eat and drink and your physical activity to help stay on target

Having a support system, like a walking buddy or friend who also wants to improve their health, can be fun and help you to reach your goal!