According to the American Diabetes Association 9.3% of all Americans, or 29.1 million, had diabetes in 2012. An additional 86 million Americans 20 years of age and older had a high risk for developing type 2 diabetes. These numbers continue to grow. According to the CDC, diabetes is one of the top 10 leading causes of death in the United States and a leading cause of disability for many adults. November is American Diabetes Month. Take this month to read all the great tips to better manage or prevent diabetes and take stock of your risk factor and changes you can make. Below are some areas to focus on and my favorite tips.  


  • Build A Healthy Plate 
    • Lean proteins – Heart disease is one of the most common comorbidities of diabetes. To avoid developing heart disease start by looking at where the fat comes from in your diet. Choose leaner meat sources, use less butter and more plant-based oils, and enjoy unsalted nuts and seeds.
    • Trade-ups Try to make one trade-up per meal. The trade up can be to a lower fat dairy product, leaner meat, or a new whole grain cereal. It can even be switching from white to brown rice when dining out. Trade-ups give you more nutritional bang for your buck without forcing you to completely rethink your meal. The ShopWell app makes Trade-Up recommendations for you when you scan or browse for a food item in the database.  
    • Love your produce – This one may seem like a no-brainer but it is harder than you think. The goal of 7 to 9 servings of fruits and vegetables daily is a lofty goal for most Americans. Fruits and vegetables are full of fiber, lower calorie, and rich in vitamins and minerals that can help reduce inflammation. They are prefect for disease prevention.



  • Be Active
    • Join a challenge – Around the holidays there are always fitness challenges planned from Turkey Trots to 30-day challenges sponsored by gyms or mobile apps. These types of fitness challenges get you reenergized to exercise despite the colder weather and the holiday rush.  
    • Consistency is key – It doesn’t matter what you love to do for exercise sticking with an exercise routine is the hardest and most important part. A good goal to aim for is at least 30 minutes of exercise for 5 days each week.
    • Have fun with it – If you don’t enjoy doing physical activity then you are less likely to stick with it. Pick an exercise class you like, download a great soundtrack that makes you want to move, or find a workout buddy. It doesn’t really matter what you choose as long as you are having a good time. 



  • Watching The Weight
    • Stepping on the scale – This is a sensitive topic for almost everyone. Don’t step on the scale too frequently, once a week is plenty, and don’t let that number dictate how you feel. It is more important to notice trends in your weight. You can also use the fit of your clothes as a barometer for how your weight is trending. Bottom line, keep an eye on your weight but don’t let a number rule your life.
    • Don’t drink your calories – Although it may seem obvious it is important. Beverages that have calories tend to have higher sugar content which your body will absorb really quickly causing a spike in blood sugars. Besides staying hydrated with water daily is important not only for blood sugar control but also for energy levels throughout the day.
    • Portion distortion – Watching your portion sizes can have a big impact on calories and weight loss. Plus, it is a good reality check for how much you are really eating at a meal. You can use references like the MyPlate website to determine what a serving size should be and then measure out your food and compare. After a few weeks you’ll have a good idea of what a serving size should look like.