Currently, one in 11 American adults, or 29 million individuals, has diabetes and another 86 million have prediabetes. Some risk factors for diabetes can’t be changed, such as your age and family history. However, making small changes to your diet and lifestyle can have a big impact on preventing and managing diabetes. Check out our answers to these common questions about how to defend against diabetes.
My doctor suggested I lose some weight. Will skipping meals help?
It’s a common misconception that skipping meals will help with weight loss, but this can lead to overeating later in the day. It’s especially important for those with diabetes or those at risk to eat at regular intervals to maintain stable blood sugar levels. Eating a nutritious and filling breakfast with whole grains, appetite-satisfying protein and fiber starts your day off right. Post® Shredded Wheat, Great Grains and Grape-Nuts cereals are made from wholesome ingredients and supply whole grains, fiber and other essential vitamins and minerals. Add milk to increase the amount of protein to 10 grams per serving. postfoods.com
If hectic mornings get in the way of eating a healthy breakfast, stock up on belVita Breakfast Biscuits. These biscuits supply a good source of whole grains and three grams of fiber per serving with no artificial flavors or sweeteners. All varieties are made with slow-release carbs that provide four hours of nutritious, steady energy all morning long. The single-serving packs of belVita crunchy, soft-baked, bites and sandwich varieties are great-tasting, convenient and perfect to fuel busy mornings. belvitabreakfast.com
How can I keep my heart healthy?
Individuals with diabetes have a higher risk of having a heart attack or stroke. Maintain healthy blood pressure levels by watching your sodium intake as a way to manage your risk. To add flavor to meals without salt, use Simply Organic® Spices, which are made from 100 percent organic ingredients and are a cinch to add to recipes. Try their zesty Chili Powder in our Southwest Beef and Mushroom Lettuce Wraps that are a lower carbohydrate alternative to tacos in a shell. Store spices in a cool, dark place to maximize their shelf life. simplyorganic.com
How can I ‘lighten up’ my favorite recipes without sacrificing the flavor?
Transform everyday meals like meatloaf, tacos, burgers, chili and more by using The Blend that replaces half of the ground meat with finely-diced mushrooms. Blending Weis Quality Baby Bella Mushrooms with ground meat reduces calories, saturated fat and sodium per serving, while increasing moisture and rich ‘umami’ flavor. Give it a try in our recipe for Southwest Beef and Mushroom Lettuce Wraps. weismarkets.com
Can I still eat sweets?
Individuals with diabetes can still eat sweets; however, it’s best to save treats for special occasions and keep the portions small. Try satisfying your sweet tooth with a piece of fresh fruit or fruit salad that also provides fiber and essential nutrients. Or add zero-calorie Truvia® Natural Sweetener to your favorite unsweetened beverages, cereals and recipes instead of sugar. One packet delivers the same sweetness as two teaspoons of sugar without carbohydrates or calories. truvia.com
Are You at Risk?
Screenings for diabetes are recommended for individuals over age 45 and individuals of any age with a body mass index (BMI) greater than 25, plus any one of the following risk factors:
- Being physically inactive
- Having a first-degree relative with diabetes
- Belonging to a high risk ethnic population
- Having high blood pressure, low HDL cholesterol or elevated triglyceride levels
- Having a fasting blood sugar that’s above normal
- Being a woman with a history of gestational diabetes, polycystic ovarian syndrome or giving birth to a baby weighing more than nine pounds
Repeat screenings every three years if test results are normal with more frequent testing as recommended by your doctor.
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