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Reduce Your Risk for Diabetes With This Simple Diet

By    |   Monday, 29 December 2014 08:43 PM

Eating nutritious, healthy foods, getting plenty of exercise, and keeping off excess weight is the best way to reduce the risk of developing diabetes. However, in a culture of fast food, sugar- and fat-laden convenience snacks, and a specialty coffee shop on every corner, making the right choices can be challenging.

The risk for developing diabetes is inherently higher for people with a family history of the disease. It is also higher for those that are older, and for certain ethnic groups that are more likely to be overweight due to cultural factors. According to the American Diabetes Association, however, even small changes to the diet can significantly reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

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Here are some simple diet tips that can reduce the risk of developing diabetes:

1. Choose lean meats that are unprocessed as they are lower in fat, calories, and sodium. In other words, chicken without the skin is better than hamburger and a lean cut of beef is better than a hotdog. In place of ground beef, choose ground turkey or chicken.

2. Use a 9-inch plate for main meals instead of a 12-inch one and make sure that half of the food on the plate consists of non-starchy vegetables. Vegetables such as kale, broccoli, cabbage, snow peas, and asparagus contain fewer carbohydrates and less calories. Avoid vegetables such as corn, peas, potatoes, and yams, which are high in starch.

3. Avoid foods that contain white flour, which is very high in carbohydrates and calories while providing very little nutritional value. According to WebMD, refined "white foods" have been "fingered as a culprit in America's obesity epidemic." These foods include white sugar, white flour pasta, and white rice.

4. Stay away from sugary drinks like soda, specialty coffees, energy drinks, and fruit juice. Health magazine reports that a pound a week can be lost just by reducing calorie intake by 500 calories a day. A 12-ounce can of non-diet soda contains 39 grams of sugar and 140 calories while the average coffee drink contains about 400 calories. Cutting sugary drinks out of the diet can play a significant role in weight management and reduce the risk of diabetes.

5. Choose whole grains such as oats, rye, wheat, and wild rice because they are high in fiber and nutrition. In addition, food made with whole grains is lower in calories and satisfies the appetite longer. According to the Whole Grain Council, whole grains "contain all the essential parts and naturally-occurring nutrients of the entire grain seed in their original proportions."

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6. Choose fats and oils that are low in saturated fat and high in mono and polyunsaturated fats. Traditional cooking fats including butter can be replaced with olive or canola oil. CNN says, "Olive oil is full of polyphenols, a type of antioxidant that helps protect your cells from damage. Certain polyphenols also have anti-inflammatory properties."

This article is for information only and is not intended as medical advice. Talk with your doctor about your specific health and medical needs.

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Eating nutritious, healthy foods, getting plenty of exercise, and keeping off excess weight is the best way to reduce the risk of developing diabetes.
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Monday, 29 December 2014 08:43 PM
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