Want to Help Prevent Type 2 Diabetes?

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Lose 5-7% of Your Excess Body Weight

People at risk for type 2 diabetes can prevent or delay the disease’s onset by simply losing 5 to 7 percent of their excess body weight, according to recent studies. 

For a 200-pound person, this amounts to a 10-to 14-pound weight loss. “The cornerstone of diabetes prevention is weight reduction, which is achievable through a healthy diet and regular exercise,” says Kimvir S. Dhillon, M.D., a Saddleback Memorial endocrinologist. “But to lose weight—and keep it off—people must understand how different food groups can be combined to form a well-balanced diet that sustains energy, while facilitating weight reduction.”

Food-wise Choices to Reduce the Risk of Type 2 Diabetes

  • Substitute whole grains. Whole-wheat bread, oatmeal, brown rice for refined grain products such as white bread or white rice. Get 14 grams of fiber for every 1,000 calories you consume.
  • Limit dietary fat to about 30 percent of your total calories. Avoid trans fats found in foods such as cakes, cookies, crackers, donuts, pies, potato chips, popcorn and French fries. Lower saturated fats found in whole milk, cream, ice cream, whole-milk cheeses, butter, meats, palm, coconut oils and cocoa butter.
  • Have a minimum of one serving of non-fried fish every week. If you are pregnant, you should consult with your physician. Vary your menu with skinless poultry and lean meats— for example, round steak, sirloin tip or extra lean ground beef.
  • Eat more low - or nonfat dairy products each day. Try yogurt or cottage cheese.
  • Eat a variety of fruits and vegetables.

Food choices, however, are only part of the picture. Exercise is also a critical factor in weight loss. So is portion control and calculating the number of daily calories appropriate for a person.

Source: American Diabetes Association