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Diabetes Education Services: Diabetes Awareness
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Diabetes Awareness

Lower Your Risk for Diabetes

According to the American Diabetes Association, more than 23.6 million adults and children in the United States – 7.8% of the population – have diabetes. As many as 57 million Americans may be undiagnosed, and 1.6 million new cases are diagnosed in people over the age of 20 each year.

Central DuPage Hospital is encouraging you to familiarize yourself with the risk factors for developing diabetes. Knowledge is the key to both prevention and treatment.

Know the Risks

Who is at risk for type 2 diabetes?

  • People over age 45
  • People with a family history of diabetes
  • People who are overweight
  • People who do not exercise regularly
  • People with low HDL cholesterol or high triglycerides, high blood pressure
  • Certain racial and ethnic groups (e.g., Non-Hispanic Blacks, Hispanic/Latino Americans, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, and American Indians and Alaska Natives)
  • People with impaired glucose tolerance (IGT) and/or impaired fasting glucose(IFG)
  • Women who had gestational diabetes, or who have had a baby weighing nine pounds or more at birth

Prevention Is Possible

Prediabetes – blood glucose levels that are higher than normal but not yet high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes – is a serious medical condition. But it can be treated.

People with prediabetes can prevent the development of type 2 diabetes by making changes in their diet and increasing their level of physical activity. In many cases, it’s even possible to return blood glucose levels to the normal range.

Just 30 minutes a day of moderate physical activity, coupled with a 5-10% reduction in body weight, produces a 58% reduction in diabetes. A healthy diet is critical, too. Here are a few tips on making healthful food choices.

  • Eat lots of vegetables and fruits. Try picking from the rainbow of colors available to maximize variety.
  • Eat non-starchy vegetables such as spinach, carrots, broccoli or green beans with meals.
  • Choose whole grain foods over processed grain products. Try brown rice with your stir fry or whole wheat spaghetti with your favorite pasta sauce.
  • Include dried beans (like kidney or pinto beans) and lentils into your meals. 
  • Include fish in your meals 2-3 times a week.
  • Choose lean meats like cuts of beef and pork that end in "loin" such as pork loin and sirloin. Remove the skin from chicken and turkey.
  • Cut back on “junk” foods likes chips and candy.
  • Eating too much of even healthful foods can lead to weight gain. Watch your portion sizes.

Join the Fight Against Diabetes

In this fight, knowledge is power. Let’s spread the word about diabetes risks and the simple steps we can all take to prevent onset. For more information, call the Diabetes Center at 630.208.3345, read more at CDH.org or visit www.diabetes.org.