Currently, there are 37 million people in the United States with diabetes and 96 million people with prediabetes. The American Diabetes Association encourages individuals with diabetes to remember that you have options and don’t need to be held back by your diagnosis, there are actions you can take!
If you have been diagnosed with diabetes (type 1 or 2) or prediabetes, here are some things you can do to help manage your own care:
In your daily meals, you’ll want to try to eat a variety of foods such as vegetables, fruits, whole grains, lean proteins, and non-fat dairy. If you are someone who likes to plan their meals, you might want to try what is called the Diabetes Plate Method. This method utilizes a plate to help portion out meals with a healthy balance of vegetables, protein, and carbohydrates. If you’d like to learn more about the Diabetes Plate Method, click here.
Avoid eating too much of one food and try mixing it up! Avoid skipping meals, as tempting as it may be. Skipping meals can lead to consuming more than intended due to hunger. If you are interested in learning how to make delicious recipes specifically for diabetes, I encourage you to check out the American Diabetes Association Food Hub by clicking here.
No matter the type of diabetes, being active helps to lower blood sugar levels. The beauty of being active? Any type of physical activity helps! Whether you are someone who enjoys walks outside, gardening, swimming, dancing, riding a bike, yoga, or lifting weights, you can do what’s most comfortable for you. Not only does physical activity help lower blood sugar levels, but it also has additional benefits such as relieving stress, lowering risk of heart disease and stroke, keeping your joints flexible, and making you feel more energetic overall.
There are many resources out there to help you, including UF/IFAS Extension here in Orange County. We are proudly recognized by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as an implementer of their National Diabetes Prevention Program, which consists of yearly prediabetes prevention classes. We also offer one-time classes on dining with diabetes and nutrition. New classes will be starting soon! Please call the Extension office at 407-254-9200 if you are interested in learning more about classes. We would love to hear from you!
Sources: American Diabetes Association. (2022). Diabetes Overview. https://diabetes.org/diabetes