Did you know November is American Diabetes Month? Since African Americans are almost twice as likely to be diagnosed with diabetes as non-Hispanic whites, I think the topic deserves our attention.
There are some non-modifiable risk factors (age, ethnicity, family history) that are beyond our control. That's fine... It isn't our job to stress over things we can't change. However, there ARE a few factors that we can alter. So, let's focus on things we can do to help decrease risk of (pre)diabetes.
Four Things To Do Right Now To Lower Diabetes Risk
1. Watch Your Weight
BMI isn't the perfect indicator, but it helps give a point of reference. Don't get overwhelmed by the amount of weight you need to lose to hit "normal range." Instead, set small monthly goals. If you can lose 5-10 percent of your body weight, you will lower your risk of developing diabetes by nearly 60%.
2. Get Moving
Adequate activity can improve blood sugar.. and blood pressure... and cholesterol... and mood... and more. There are so many reasons (read as: excuses) why we don't get enough activity, but it's time to figure it out. Commercial break crunches? Squats before bed? Find ways to make exercise a part of the daily routine and stick with it.
3. Focus On Food
Carbs are NOT bad! Let that myth go. Your body needs a balance of nutrients to flourish. Instead of restricting starchy foods, be intentional about adding nutrient-dense sources of carbohydrates (e.g. brown rice, sweet potatoes, quinoa, oats, etc). Balanced, consistent meals are one of the best ways to keep your blood sugar stable.
4. Stop the Stress
Can high stress levels affect your blood sugar levels? ....absolutely. The term self-care is thrown around all the time when discussing mental health, but it is critical for physical health too. Make time for the activities that relieve stress and bring joy!
Click here to take the full Type 2 Diabetes Risk Test!