Find out information on diabetes prevention, including foods to eat and how to assess your risk.
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What is Prediabetes?
Before type 2 diabetes develops, there’s a stage called prediabetes, when blood glucose, or sugar, levels are higher than normal, but not high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes.
With no pronounced physical symptoms, prediabetes is usually detected through one of two tests done by your doctor: a fasting plasma glucose test or an oral glucose tolerance test. You can always watch out for the symptoms of type 2 diabetes, such as fatigue, increased urination, blurry vision, and slow healing of wounds.
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Assess Your Risk
Speak with your doctor about getting tested, especially if you have one or more of these risk factors: gestational diabetes or having a baby weighing 9 pounds or more; high blood pressure; being over 45; overweight; a family history of the disease; or being Native American, Alaskan Native, African American, Latino, Asian American, or Pacific Islander.
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You Have the Power
Research shows that certain foods help the body build up defenses against type 2 diabetes. Try to incorporate one or more of these items into your daily meals.
Keep in mind that all of these foods should be paired with a weight loss program. As well, ask your doctor about allergies or interactions with any medications you may be taking. Finally, remember that you have the power to control and prevent diabetes.
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Women who eat at least one serving of nuts or peanut butter per week significantly lowered their risk of developing diabetes. Because peanuts and nuts are high in unsaturated fats, they can improve how your body processes insulin.
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Studies show that the spice turmeric may help reduce diabetes risks by reducing inflammation in areas of the immune system associated with glucose and insulin tolerance.
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Research suggests that drinking black and green tea and brewed coffee may speed up metabolism, aiding in weight loss and in turn, diabetes prevention. Tea was shown to lower glucose levels in rats, which helped prevent or slow the process of cataract development.
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Women who ate dairy products, especially low-fat versions, were less likely to develop diabetes. Vitamin D, found in dairy products (as well as in sunshine), improves the body’s ability to produce and use insulin.
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Contrary to popular belief, diabetics can have some fruit. However, which types and how much differ depending on how the fruit reacts in your body. If you don’t have diabetes, eating whole fruit and drinking 100% fruit juices (without added sugar or high fructose corn syrup) as part of a healthy diet is important in getting vitamins.
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Links for Life
Find additional free information, recipes, brochures, toolkits, and more at the following sites.
1. Diabetes Food Pyramid