Weld County Department of Public Health and Environment offers tips to prevent diabetes as National Diabetes Awareness Month approaches | MyWindsorNow.com

Weld County Department of Public Health and Environment offers tips to prevent diabetes as National Diabetes Awareness Month approaches

Kelly Ragan

The Weld County Department of Public Health and Environment works to raise awareness of diabetes during November, which is National Diabetes Awareness Month, according to a news release from the department.

An estimated 30.3 million people in the United States have diabetes and 84.1 million have been diagnosed with pre-diabetes, according to the release. In Weld County, 9.5 percent of the population, or about 30,000 people, has been diagnosed with the disease.

Prevention is key for Type 2 diabetes, according to the release. The health department recommends following these prevention tips from the American Diabetes Association:

» Be more physically active — Strive for at least 30 minutes of moderate activity daily, such as walking or house cleaning.

Research shows aerobic exercise and strength training can help control diabetes. The greatest benefit comes from a fitness program that includes both.

» Eat plenty of fiber — Fiber reduces risk of diabetes by improving blood sugar control; it lowers risk of heart disease; it helps you feel full longer, which helps with weight loss. Foods high in fiber include fruits, vegetables, beans, whole grains and nuts.

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» Go for whole grains — Whole grains may reduce your risk of diabetes and help maintain blood sugar levels. Try to make at least half your grains whole grains. Many foods made from whole grains come ready to eat, including various breads, pasta products and cereals. Look for the word "whole" or 100 percent whole grain on the package and being listed among the first few items in the ingredient list.

» Lose extra weight — If you're overweight, diabetes prevention may hinge on weight loss. Every pound lost can improve health.

» Skip fad diets and make healthier choices — Low-carb diets, the glycemic index diet or other fad diets may help with weight loss at first, but they are not effective long-term. Weight loss plans that exclude or strictly limit an entire food group may lack essential nutrients. A healthy plan includes a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins and low-fat dairy foods, along with portion control.

When to see the doctor

If a person is older than age 45 and their weight is normal, a doctor will determine if diabetes testing is appropriate. The American Diabetes Association recommends blood glucose screening if:

» An individual is age 45 or older and overweight.

» Or they are younger than age 45, overweight, with one or more additional risk factors for type 2 diabetes, such as a sedentary lifestyle or a family history of diabetes.

For more information on preventing diabetes go to http://www.weldhealth.org.