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November is National Diabetes Month. I have mixed emotions about entire months devoted to awareness of chronic diseases like diabetes. On one hand it’s great to build awareness and education and on the other, the disease is so prevalent we actually need a month devoted to awareness.  According to the CDC, more than 29 million Americans have diabetes and 1 in 4 people don’t even know it. Scary right? That basically means next time you are dinner with friends, it’s possible someone at the table has diabetes and doesn’t even know it. Even more startling … an additional 86 million have prediabetes (that more than 1 in 3 adults in the US). Not great odds. 

 

Prediabetes is diagnosed when your blood sugars are higher than they should be but not high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes. So basically it means before diabetes. The scary thing is most people don’t know that they are prediabetic and likely will develop type 2 diabetes in the future. Be proactive about your health and know the risk factors:

 

  • Age – particularly over 45 years old (as if getting older wasn’t hard enough)
  • Overweight or obese
  • Family history of diabetes
  • Having an ethnic background including: African American, Hispanic/Latino, Native American, Asian American, or Pacific Islander
  • History of diabetes while pregnant or having a baby weighing more than 9lbs
  • Being physical active less than 3x/week

 

The good news – you can do something about it! Research has shown that by doing two things can help you prevent or delay type 2 diabetes. Here they are:

 

  • Weight Loss – Losing 5-7% of your body weight can have a dramatic impact on your risk of developing diabetes.
  • Exercise – Aim for at least 150 minutes of physical activity each week or 20 minutes of physical activity each day.

 

Doable right? ShopWell can help! We recently released a new goal in the app to support those with prediabetes. By selecting the Prediabetes goal we’ll help you make better food purchases in the grocery store to support modest weight loss and a healthier eating pattern. It’s all about making small changes to get big rewards. Scan the UPC of a food product in the store and check out the score. If it’s a lower scoring product, aka in the red, check out the Trade Up recommendations to find a similar product that’s a better fit for you.  Start by trading up a few items in your shopping cart. Next week do a few more trade ups. Give yourself time to discover and learn to appreciate new foods that are a better fit for you. We’ll also send you weekly health tips to support you and your goal. Making small gradual changes to the foods you buy is much easier and cheaper than managing diabetes!

 

Download the free ShopWell app today and begin your journey to trade up to a healthier you!

 

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