Diabetes is one of the leading causes of disability and death in the United States. One in 11 Americans have diabetes — that’s more than 29 million people. And another 86 million adults in the United States are at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

Do you know whether you’re at risk or not? There are many factors that contribute to the development of type 2 diabetes.  Factors like your age, gender, weight, your family history and how active you are. The good news is, it’s possible to lower your risk of developing the disease by making some healthy lifestyle changes.

Eat Healthier

salad-976799_640Eating healthy and maintaining your weight is one of the best things you can do to lower your risk of developing type 2 diabetes. The American Diabetes Association (ADA) has some excellent advice designed to make healthier eating an easier transition for you.

The ADA suggests using a grocery list when shopping for food to help you choose more fresh vegetables, fruits, and whole grains. Eating healthy doesn’t need to be expensive either. In fact, you can save money by buying less soda, sweets and other snack foods. When you sit down to eat try starting meals with a salad or a or tomato- based soup with lots of vegetables. This helps you eat more veggies while filling you up before you get to the higher fat and calorie courses.

Those are just a few simple suggestions and you can find more at: http://www.diabetes.org/are-you-at-risk/lower-your-risk/healthy-eating.html#sthash.FNXCmTu9.dpuf

Exercise and Be Active

Physical activity can help your blood sugar stay within the appropriate target range. Additionally, building muscle through physical exercise helps prevent high glucose levels, since muscle uses glucose more effectively than fat does. How much physical activity are we talking about? It’s not much, especially when you consider the enormous health benefits.

 According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases

 “Doctors suggest that you aim for 30 to 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity most days of the week. Children and adolescents with type 2 diabetes who are 10 to 17 years old should aim for 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity every day.”  – Read More at https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/diabetes/diabetes-physical-activity

Maintain a Healthy Weight

Almost 90% of people living with type 2 diabetes are overweight or obese. Extra weight puts added pressure on the bodies ability to use insulin properly to control blood sugar levels. So in addition to eating health and staying active, maintaining a healthy weight can help you reduce your risk.  – Read more at http://www.obesity.org/content/weight-diabetes

You can manage your risk of developing type 2 diabetes and even small steps, like those above, can make a big difference. Take this quick test to assess your risk, see your doctor and visit diabetes.org/alert for more information.