If you have a family history of diabetes, or you’ve been told by a health care professional that you’re at risk for type 2 diabetes, you can prevent or delay the onset of the disease by losing 5 to 7 percent of your body weight (10 to 14 pounds if you weigh 200 pounds). To lose weight safely, make healthy food choices, like eating more fruits and vegetables, and be physically active for 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week.
The National Diabetes Education Program (NDEP) has tips for how you can add more fruits and vegetables to your day:
• Buy fresh produce and freeze some to use later. You can also buy frozen, dried, or canned vegetables and fruits. If buying packaged produce, choose fruit without added salt, butter, or sauces.
• Add spinach, onions or mushrooms to your omelet.
• Top your, pancakes, cereal, oatmeal, or toast with strawberries, peaches, blueberries or bananas.
• Cook your favorite lasagna recipe with broccoli, carrots, zucchini or eggplant.
• Make a salsa by mixing different fruits and vegetables such as tomatoes, mangos, onions, and peppers with lime juice and cilantro.
• Try steaming your vegetables or using low-salt spices and lemon juice to add flavor.
• Choose pineapples, peppers, mushrooms, or tomatoes as pizza toppings.
• If you’re eating out, ask for a side of vegetables or side of salad instead of french fries or chips.
• Visit an ethnic food store or farmer’s market to try a new fruit or vegetable each week. Ask for recipes while you are there.
Fruits and vegetables give you important vitamins, minerals, and fiber, and most are low in calories. When eating a meal, fill half your plate with fruits and vegetables.
Learn more about diabetes by visiting www.lcdhd.org/diabetes/ for the next diabetes education class in your county at the local health department or simply call 1-800-928-4416 and ask to speak to the diabetes educator. You may also want to become a friend of LCDHD on Facebook at www.facebook.com/LCDHD or follow us at www.twitter.com/LCDHD
To learn more about how many fruits and vegetables you need daily and other healthy eating tips, visit Choosemyplate.gov or EatRight.org. For a free copy of NDEP’s Your GAME PLAN to Prevent Type 2 Diabetes, which includes a fat and calorie counter and physical activity tracker, plus more diabetes prevention tips, call 1-888-693-NDEP (1-888-693-6337), TTY: 1-866-569-1162 or visit www.YourDiabetesInfo.org.