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Take steps today to keep diabetes at bay.

You can’t see it, but you’re surrounded by a growing health threat. About 79 million Americans—more than 25 percent of the population—have prediabetes. You, a friend, or a relative might be one of them. Prediabetes increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, which is linked to a variety of health problems.

November is American Diabetes Month, so it’s a good time to look at five things you can do to reduce your chances of developing prediabetes or diabetes.

Know the Risks

Certain factors make it more likely that you might become diabetic. These include:

  • A family history of diabetes
  • Ethnic and racial background
  • Being over 45 years old
  • High levels of bad cholesterol and/or low levels of good cholesterol
  • For women, experiencing diabetes during a pregnancy (gestational diabetes)

Control Your Weight

You should learn your body mass index (BMI) and see if your weight is appropriate for your age and height. You can find a BMI calculator here, and this chart indicates what weight might put you at risk for diabetes. If you’re overweight, losing just seven percent of your current weight can reduce your risk.

Avoid Certain Foods

Foods linked to diabetes include:

  • Fried foods
  • Fatty and processed meats
  • Whole milk and whole-fat dairy products
  • Lard, shortening, and margarine
  • Crackers and desserts, such as cookies, cakes, and pies
  • Candy
  • Sugary soft drinks or beverages with sugar added
  • Canned foods that are high in salt

Eat More of Healthier Foods

Foods that promote health and lower the risk of diabetes include:

  • Olive, canola, and soybean oil
  • Nuts
  • Seeds
  • Avocadoes
  • Some fish, such as herring and salmon
  • Whole grains
  • Beans and lentils
  • Dark green leafy vegetables, such as spinach and broccoli
  • Fruit

Exercise

To reduce the risk of diabetes, experts recommend that you do 30 minutes of moderate exercise at least five days a week. Exercises that you can try include:

  • Brisk walking
  • Cycling
  • Swimming
  • Dancing
  • Strength training with weights or resistance bands

As you can see, preventing diabetes requires monitoring many parts of your health. At North Hills Hospital, we’re ready to help. If you have a health concern or need a physician referral, call 1-855-5NHILLS.

Related Posts:

Five Easy Ways to Cut Calories Out of Your Diet

Five Easy Ways You Can Commit to Fitness