November – American Diabetes Month

— Written By and last updated by Leeann Crump
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According to the American Diabetes Association, diabetes is the 7th leading cause of death. Diabetes is not only an issue nationally, but also here in Richmond County. If not properly managed, possible complications from the disease include nerve damage, kidney disease, blindness, cardiovascular disease, and more. The good news is that the disease can not only be managed, but also prevented through healthy choices! If diagnosed with diabetes, is important to talk with your health care provider about the best plan for your care.

Let’s celebrate American Diabetes Month this November by making at least one healthy lifestyle change! Healthy goals are often made after the new year, however they should be made year round! Try finding a change you can make that is relevant to your needs. Partnering with a friend, family member, or coworker is a great way to support and encourage each other. Some possible ideas include:

Be more active. Little changes can create big impacts. Try parking farther away in the store parking lot. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Or, find a new walking buddy. Increasing activity helps one achieve a healthy weight. It also helps increase your body’s response to insulin. Being regularly active long term can help to lower A1c levels.

Prepare more meals at home. Cooking meals at home helps to prevent the temptation of high calorie, low nutrient convenience food. Prep meals on Sunday for lunch the upcoming week. Or pick a night of the week that the family can make dinner together.

Create healthy holiday traditions. Many traditional family recipes appear at holiday meals. Unfortunately, they are not always the healthiest. Add a platter of fresh fruits or veggies to the traditional line up of food to encourage some healthier choices. Once the food has settled, go for a walk or play games and enjoy the cool outdoor weather.

Learn more about the foods you eat. When was the last time you read a nutrition label on a package of food? Reading food labels provides you with the basic facts on the food and allows for you to see if it is a good choice for you. Not all foods can be simply classified as “healthy” or “not healthy.” Looking at the ingredients and nutrients that are in food can help in making smart decisions.

Eat mindfully. Enjoy your food and avoid distractions while you eat. Turn off the TV, keep your cell phone in the other room, and focus on the flavor of your meal. This simple tip can help in eating less and controlling portion sizes.

Try writing down a goal that works for you and posting it to the refrigerator as a reminder for November. Want to learn more about food and nutrition? Follow the N.C. Cooperative Extension’s Instagram for Richmond and Moore County Nutrition to stay up to date on local events and nutrition tips, by following “MooreRichNutrition”.

The Richmond County Cooperative Extension’s goal is to provide the residents of the community with research-based knowledge. For more information on food safety, wellness, and nutrition please contact the Family and Consumer Sciences Agent, Alyssa Anderson, MS, RDN, LDN at 910-997-8255.