Chances are, you know someone who has diabetes or prediabetes. The good news is that diabetes is very manageable! In fact, a meal plan for someone with diabetes does not look a whole lot different than the recommendations for the general population.
Even better, prediabetes is reversible! Redwood Area Hospital has teamed up with the CDC to provide the National Diabetes Prevention Program. This is an in-person year long program that acts as a support group while learning lifestyle modifications. Take it from current participants. An all-too-common story from one participant:
“Two years ago my doctor told me I was bordering prediabetes. He told me the best way to avoid developing diabetes was to take off some weight and develop a more active lifestyle. He also said the Dietitian was starting a Prevent Type 2 Diabetes Class. I decided then and there I needed to change my ways and get healthy-on my own…but [was] not successful. Two years later it was same story at my doctors’ appointment. But this time I decided to join the class. I needed the on-going support the class provides…Sharing strategies and struggles in class along with all the technical information and support that Natalie provides makes success possible… I feel like I’m going to make this work.”
Don’t let the yearlong program scare you. The first three months meet weekly, then biweekly, then monthly. The length of time is meant to guide as support, then preparing the participant to continue the lifestyle changes independently.
“I was nervous going into the biweekly sessions. I liked being able to weigh in each week and ‘reset’ but now I am forced to make it through two weeks. It is getting easier.” says one other participant.”
A few ways that you can prevent diabetes is by eating healthy and getting active. One way to do that is by making balanced food choices.
“…its real life tips that are shared.”
- >>Portion size is key when it comes to weight loss.
- >>Remember to make half your plate vegetables. That leaves room for ¼ lean proteins and ¼ whole grains.
- >>Think colorful veggies like beets, carrots, tomatoes, and broccoli.
- >>Lean proteins like chicken breast, “loin” cuts, and fish such as salmon or tuna.
- >>Whole grains carry more fiber, check to make sure your products are 100% whole grain by looking at the first ingredient on the list. If your bread lists “enriched wheat flour” first, its likely mostly white flower. Check for the whole grain stamp on the package.
- >>Consider fruit instead of a sweet dessert more often.
Another participant states:
“It’s a nonjudgmental class that reminds you to make good choices.” Another states “
The current class has been so successful! One participant lost 18 lbs by decreasing portion sizes, making healthier choices, and becoming more active based on information and tips presented in class. Nearly all have met their weight loss goals, will meet their weight loss goals by 6 months, or have made marked improvement in their weight. It’s not just the weight that has been lost, but I can see the budding relationships between participants. Many participants met for the first time for this class and will leave as friends.
To find out if you are at risk for Diabetes, take risk short risk test at https://doihaveprediabetes.org. If your results show you’re at risk, talk to your doctor about getting a simple blood sugar test to confirm your results. Watch local papers and Redwood Area Hospital website in the spring for new National Diabetes Prevention Class dates.