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Quality Health Care and You - Diabetes

Fun and Fit Ways to Control and Prevent Diabetes



Can you suggest some fun and fit ways that will help with controlling and preventing diabetes?


Here are a few key points in preventing or controlling diabetes.

Stay active—Exercise helps the body utilize glucose more efficiently and will help to achieve or maintain an ideal body weight. Find something that you like to do that gets your heart rate up for at least 20-30 minutes, 3-4 times per week. This could be as easy as dancing to your favorite music, walk with your dog or a friend, go ice skating with the kids, or walk in the mall (window shop). Every little bit counts, so park further away when you go to the store, take a flight of stairs instead of the elevator or walk in place while watching your favorite ½ hour show.

Eat sensibly and watch portion sizes—Choose more whole grain foods, fruits, vegetables and lean meats. A great way to moderate portion sizes and balance carbohydrates throughout the day is to count carbohydrates. This is fine to do whether you have diabetes or not. Your whole family can participate. What is nice about carb counting is that any food can be incorporated into a meal plan.  Women who are trying to lose weight should strive for 30-45g per meal; men 45-60g per meal.  

For example, you could have 1 slice of toast with peanut butter (15g), 1c milk (15g) and ½ banana (15g) for breakfast; a sandwich with 2 slices of bread (30g), salad (0g), and a small cookie (15g) for lunch; and a grilled chicken breast (0g), salad (0g), small dinner roll (15g), 2/3c rice (30g) and sugar free jello (0g) for dinner.

Looking at the total carbohydrate line on a food product's nutrition label will tell you how many grams of carbohydrate are in one serving of the food (the serving size is listed on the top of the label). It is wise to measure out your foods to be sure your portion sizes are accurate.

Become educated and have regular checkups with your doctor. If you have diabetes, this can help to keep your blood sugars under control so as to reduce the risk of complications later on. If you don't have diabetes but feel you are risk, having regular screenings are important so that you can seek treatment earlier rather than later.

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Response by:

Connie A Gottfried, MPH, RD, LD, CDE Connie A Gottfried, MPH, RD, LD, CDE
Case Western Reserve University