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Over 23 million people in the United States have diabetes and as our waistlines continue to grow, so do the number of people affected. Diabetes is the main cause of kidney failure, limb amputation, and new-onset blindness in American adults. People with diabetes are also two to four times more likely than people without diabetes to develop heart disease.

Today's article is dedicated to tips on how to prevent getting diabetes. It is never too late to start! Simple changes can help you avoid health complications of diabetes down the road.

1. Put exercise first. Regular exercise by itself can cut diabetes risk. Studies have revealed that exercise also lowers blood sugar and keeps it down for several hours after the exercise, which also contributes to preventing diabetes. Choose things you enjoy and do them every day. Even a half hour walk three times a week can make an impact.

2. Try to keep weight in check. Being a healthy weight is the best thing you can do to lower your risk of diabetes. About 80% of diabetics are overweight and excess weight has been shown to contribute to the development of diabetes. Need to lose weight? Getting active and eating smaller portions s-l-o-w-l-y are your best bets. Think variety and portion control as part of an overall healthy eating plan. For every pound you lose can reduce your risk by 60% over 3 years.

3. Choose healthy fats rather than trans fats. Sure, they've got long names, but a diet rich in mono and polyunsaturated fats can help lower your risk of diabetes and heart disease. Canola oil and olive oil are great choices, as are the fats in avocados, nuts, and seeds.

4. Avoid eating foods made with sugar, bleached (white) flour and other refined carbohydrates such as white rice and dry cereals in order to help in preventing diabetes. Processed and fried foods are particularly unhealthy and the fats and carbohydrates found in them undermine your health.

5. Eat lots of fiber, which is found in raw fruits and vegetables, beans, whole grains and oatmeal or oat bran. Fiber will go a long way in preventing diabetes because it helps to buffer high amounts of sugar or carbohydrates in your diet, keeping your blood sugar even rather than having it gyrate wildly up and down.

6. Don't smoke. Smoking is not only associated with the development of diabetes but it also contributes to heart disease and causes lung cancer.
7. Don't drink alcohol. Preventing diabetes means cutting way back on alcoholic beverages which contain quickly absorbed carbohydrates. This can contribute to the development of Type II diabetes by quickly raising blood sugar to unhealthy levels.

8. Get a friend, relative or group of people to help you in preventing diabetes. They can support you in sticking with your healthy new lifestyle.

If you have any questions or for more information, please come to Kingston Residence at 7515 Winchester Road and visit with Scheryl Krumma, Director of Nursing.


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