A Healthier You
You have the power to improve and protect your health. With proper nutrition and physical activity and by making good lifestyle choices (like not smoking), you can feel better, stronger, and healthier, and can lower your risk of diseases such as cancer, diabetes, heart disease and stroke.
What is a Healthy Weight?
There's an easy way to find out if your current weight puts you at risk for developing serious diseases. Go to www.diabetes.org/bmi and take the Body Mass Index (BMI) test. The results will help you decide if you need to be concerned about your weight.
The Better You Eat, The Better You Feel
Here are some basic guidelines to help you and your family make healthier food decisions.
- Eat lots of vegetables and fruits.
- Choose whole grain foods over processed grain products. Try brown rice instead of white. Substitute whole wheat bread for white.
- Eat fish 2 – 3 times a week.
- Select leaner cuts of meat like those that end in "loin."
- Remove the skin from chicken and turkey.
- Eat non-fat dairy
- Drink water and calorie-free non-carbonated beverages.
- Use liquid oils for cooking instead of solid fats.
- Cut back on high calorie snacks like chips, cookies, cakes, and regular ice cream. Look for baked chips and reduced calorie snacks. Or have a piece of fruit instead.
- Watch your portion sizes. Even too much "healthy" food can cause weight gain.
Another resource that you might find valuable is the American Diabetes Association's online nutrition tool, My Food Advisor. Here you can find recipes, compare foods, search for healthier alternatives and calculate calories, carbohydrates and other nutrients for a meal, a recipe or a whole day of food.
- Compare labels of similar foods, then choose the one with smaller amounts of saturated fat, cholesterol and sodium.
- Adults should eat less than 2400 mg. of sodium per day. If you have high blood pressure, you should aim for even less.
- Try adding herbs and spices in your cooking to take the place of salt for enhancing flavor.
To learn more about comparing foods and making healthier choices, go to www.diabetes.org/myfoodadvisor.
A Little Physical Activity Goes a Long Way
Anything that gets you up and moving is good for you. Here's what it can do:
- Reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes
- Reduce your risk of heart disease and strokeLower blood pressure and cholesterol
- Reduce blood glucose (sugar) levels if you have diabetes, which can reduce your risk of developing diabetes-related complications
- Relieve stress
- Help you lose weight
- Give you more energy
- Help you sleep better
- Build stronger bones and muscles
You don't need to go to a gym, play sports or use fancy equipment. Of course, you should talk to your doctor before starting any exercise regimen.
If You Have Diabetes...
Eating healthy and staying active are even more important if you have diabetes. Well-balanced meals can help keep your glucose (sugar) level as close to normal as possible.
Being active also helps you lower your blood glucose. If you increase your level of physical activity, you may be able to take less insulin or diabetes pills. If you're very inactive, have heart disease or a history of foot ulcers, consult your doctor about safe exercise for you.
Check your blood glucose before exercising. If it's under 100 mg/dl, eat some fruit, crackers or have a glass of milk or juice. Check it again after exercising to learn how your blood glucose reacts to exercise. Bring a snack if you'll be active for a few hours
Planning for a Healthy Life
- Diabetes and How It Affects You
- A Healthier You
- Keeping Your Family Healthy
- Safe at Home
- Your Financial Health
- Planning for Your Later Years
- Tough Decisions Made Easier
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