November is American Diabetes Month
November is American Diabetes Month, a time to raise awareness of diabetes prevention and control. In the United States, 24 million people are living with diabetes and 57 million more are at risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Over time, if it’s not controlled, type 2 diabetes can cause serious health problems like heart disease, stroke and blindness.
You may be at risk for type 2 diabetes if you:
- are overweight
- exercise less than 3 times a week
- are over 45 years old
- have high blood pressure or high cholesterol
- are African American, Latino, American Indian, Alaska Native, Asian American or Pacific Islander
- have a parent, brother or sister with diabetes
But the good news is that type 2 diabetes is preventable. Here are some ways to prevent the disease along with simple tips for an overall healthy lifestyle.
Muscle Up for Good Health
Building muscle may help people fight type 2 diabetes. Researchers report that, in a group of almost 14,000 people, each 10 percent increase in the ratio of muscle mass to total body weight was associated with an 11 percent reduction in insulin resistance (a precursor to type 2 diabetes). This study supports the notion that diabetes prevention is not only about weight loss but also about muscle gain. Muscle is the body’s biggest user of glucose. Lifting weights or doing weight-bearing activities like yoga can help build muscle and reduce the risk.
Source: The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, published online July 21, 2011
Say Goodbye to Soda
American diets contain less sugar now than they did a decade ago but still exceed recommended levels. The average consumer drinks 50 gallons of soda each year. For children and teens, sugary drinks contribute about 25% of empty calories consumed. Empty calories are food items with very little or no nutrient value. Drinking just one 8-ounce sugary drink everyday can increase a child's odds of becoming obese by 60 percent. Consumers struggling with obesity must watch their overall sugary intake from a variety of sources, not just sweetened beverages. But cutting out the sodas can make a huge difference in reducing your sugar intake.
Source: The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, published online July 13, 2011. Surgarydrinkfacts.org
Chew on Some Fiber
Looking for a snack? Pick something with plenty of soluble fiber. A study of African Americans and Latinos found that for every 10-gram increase in how much soluble fiber they consumed, their amount of visceral fat (waistline), which surrounds the organs, was reduced by nearly 4 percent over five years. Good sources of soluble fiber include apples, citrus fruits, carrots, peas, beans and barley. The average American needs to consume upwards of 25 grams of fiber each day – more than half of what we are consuming now.
Source: Obesity, published online June 16, 2011