Diabetes Prevention: Eat to Beat Diabetes

According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), about 34 million Americans[1] — one in 10 — have diabetes. Another 88 million[2] — one in three — have prediabetes. Of those who have prediabetes, 84% don’t know that they have it. Fortunately, while there is no guarantee that you won’t get diabetes, there are things that you can do to lower your risk.

How healthy eating can help fight diabetes

A big part of aiming to prevent diabetes is focusing on healthy habits — especially around eating[3] and staying active[4]. In major clinical trials, lifestyle changes have been shown to be successful in preventing type 2 diabetes[5]. These lifestyle changes focus on losing weight[6] and committing to a more active lifestyle. Making these changes can also help you avoid serious complications[7] from diabetes, such as heart[8] and kidney disease[9], nerve damage[10], and eye problems[11].

Shed some pounds

An eating plan that centers around healthy food choices, as well as eating habits, can do wonders for your health and may help you prevent diabetes at the same time. Losing some weight, if you’re overweight, is a key step in warding off diabetes. Here’s what that means for you:

To get cutting-edge diabetes news, strategies for blood glucose management, nutrition tips, healthy recipes, and more delivered straight to your inbox, sign up for our free newsletters[14]!

Choose healthy foods

Eating healthfully is important for everyone. But it’s especially important if your goal is to beat diabetes. A healthy eating plan doesn’t mean that you must give up your favorite foods altogether, but it does mean focusing on eating more of some foods and less of others. Here are some tips to get you started:

Watch portions

Focusing on better food choices is part of the equation when it comes to weight loss and diabetes prevention. The other part is controlling how much you eat. Suggested tips are to:

It can seem overwhelming to make changes to what you eat and to lose weight. Changes don’t happen overnight. Tackle one or two of the above steps rather than trying to completely overhaul your diet or your eating habits. Again, if you need help or support, reach out to a dietitian or consider joining a diabetes prevention program, where you’ll be with others who also want to beat diabetes!

Want to learn more about eating well? Read “Strategies for Healthy Eating,”[21] “Improving Your Recipes: One Step at a Time,”[22] and “Top Tips for Healthier Eating.”[23]

Endnotes:
  1. about 34 million Americans: https://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/basics/type2.html#:~:text=More%20than%2034%20million%20Americans,adults%20are%20also%20developing%20it.
  2. Another 88 million: https://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/prevention/about-prediabetes.html#:~:text=Over%2088%20million%20American%20adults,2%20diabetes%20within%205%20years.
  3. eating: https://dsm.diabetesselfmanagement.com/healthy-living/nutrition-exercise/strategies-for-healthy-eating-with-diabetes/
  4. staying active: https://dsm.diabetesselfmanagement.com/nutrition-exercise/exercise/picking-the-right-activity-to-meet-your-fitness-goals/
  5. type 2 diabetes: https://dsm.diabetesselfmanagement.com/diabetes-resources/definitions/type-2-diabetes/
  6. losing weight: https://dsm.diabetesselfmanagement.com/healthy-living/nutrition-exercise/seven-ways-to-lose-weight/
  7. complications: https://dsm.diabetesselfmanagement.com/education/diabetes-complications/
  8. heart: https://dsm.diabetesselfmanagement.com/managing-diabetes/complications-prevention/lower-risk-heart-disease/
  9. kidney disease: https://dsm.diabetesselfmanagement.com/education/how-to-keep-your-kidneys-healthy/
  10. nerve damage: https://dsm.diabetesselfmanagement.com/managing-diabetes/complications-prevention/diabetic-neuropathy/
  11. eye problems: https://dsm.diabetesselfmanagement.com/managing-diabetes/complications-prevention/eating-for-better-vision-and-healthy-eyes/diabetic-retinopathy/
  12. insulin: https://dsm.diabetesselfmanagement.com/blog/what-does-insulin-do/
  13. website of the CDC: https://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/prevention/find-a-program.html
  14. sign up for our free newsletters: https://dsm.diabetesselfmanagement.com/newsletter/
  15. snack time: https://dsm.diabetesselfmanagement.com/healthy-living/nutrition-exercise/healthy-snack-recipes-for-diabetics/
  16. whole grains: https://dsm.diabetesselfmanagement.com/nutrition-exercise/nutrition/whole-grain-nutrition/
  17. protein foods: https://dsm.diabetesselfmanagement.com/healthy-living/nutrition-exercise/easy-ways-to-boost-your-protein-intake/
  18. water: https://dsm.diabetesselfmanagement.com/healthy-living/general-health/water-facts-getting-to-know-h2o/
  19. alcohol: https://dsm.diabetesselfmanagement.com/blog/drinking-and-diabetes-seven-facts-to-know/
  20. plate method: https://dsm.diabetesselfmanagement.com/blog/diabetes-meal-planning-the-plate-method/
  21. “Strategies for Healthy Eating,”: https://dsm.diabetesselfmanagement.com/healthy-living/nutrition-exercise/strategies-for-healthy-eating-with-diabetes/
  22. “Improving Your Recipes: One Step at a Time,”: https://dsm.diabetesselfmanagement.com/nutrition-exercise/meal-planning/improving-your-recipes/
  23. “Top Tips for Healthier Eating.”: https://dsm.diabetesselfmanagement.com/nutrition-exercise/meal-planning/top-tips-for-healthier-eating/

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