by Kelly Sinclair, MS, RD, CDE
Type 2 diabetes is a condition characterized by high blood glucose levels caused by either a lack of insulin or the body’s inability to use insulin efficiently. Type 2 diabetes develops most often in middle-aged and older adults but can appear in young people.
Here are just a few of the recent statistics on diabetes:
- Nearly 30 million children and adults in the United States have diabetes, about 9% of the population.
- Of the 30 million with diabetes, 8 million people do not yet know they have the disease.
- Another 86 million Americans have prediabetes a condition in which blood glucose levels are higher than normal but are not high enough for a diagnosis of diabetes.
People with prediabetes are at increased risk for developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease and stroke.
The American Diabetes Association has developed a 5 minute test you can take to check your own risk for Type 2 diabetes. Follow the link below:
There are things you can do to significantly lower your risk of developing diabetes:
- Lose 5-10% of your weight. For a 200 pound person that would be 10 to 20 pounds. Weight loss is the number one way to prevent type 2 diabetes.
- Move your body almost every day. Choose activities that you enjoy and get your heart rate up like brisk walking, jogging, dancing, and swimming. If you haven’t exercises in a while start with 5 or 10 minutes every other day. The goal is 30 minutes 5 days per week. Exercise burns up calories and will help you reach your weight loss goal.
- Eat 3 non starchy vegetables and 2 fruit servings each day. A serving is about ½ cup. Eating lower calorie vegetables and fruits can help you to lower your weight. Non starchy vegetables (everything except corn, peas, and potatoes) are so low in calories you can eat multiple servings! Add them to every meal to help you feel full.
- Meet with a certified diabetes educator to help you get started. We are here to help you reach your goals and answer your questions.