Now that fried turkey and pumpkin pie season is in the rear view mirror, we can finally start being mindful of what we eat. No more excuses! This is especially important for our diabetic patients and those who are at high risk of developing diabetes. According to the American Diabetes Association, there were over 30 million Americans diagnosed with diabetes in 2015; this makes up almost 10% of everybody in the United States. At this rate, another 1.5 million people will be diagnosed with the disease annually. In fact, a new person will be diagnosed with diabetes every 21 seconds. These numbers are not only alarming, but also true facts.
I’ve compiled a list of healthy, easy tips, and tricks to help prevent you from becoming another statistic.
- Ditch the soda and juices. This includes sweet tea! These sugary beverages are packed full of empty calories and provide little to no nutritional value. Instead, opt for these low-cal options such as La Croix and San Pellegrino. If you don’t like seltzer water, try throwing in a few pieces of your favorite fruit into a bottle of water to give it a hint of flavor.
- Overeating is something we’re all guilty of doing. I don’t recommend starving yourself. However, I do advocate eating in moderation. When preparing your next meal, make sure you have the right proportion of meat, veggies, and starches. Generally, you want about 4-5 ounces of lean meat. No scale to measure? That’s okay. The piece of meat should be about the same size as the palm of your hand or a deck of cards. As for the carbs, you should limit that to about 1 cup. That’s equivalent to the size of your fist. Now fill whatever room you have left on your plate with vegetables.
- Make healthier options. I think twice about ordering a large pizza when I think of the consequences. I would need to walk 3 miles to burn off the calories from just ONE slice of pizza. Even that innocent looking donut will cost you close to one whole hour of walking.
- This brings me to my last point. Get off the couch and get moving. You don’t HAVE to watch the entire season of Stranger Things in 2 days! Netflix can wait. At a minimum, the average adult needs 30 minutes of activity a day, but if you can squeeze in more time, then great! Just make sure you are wearing the proper shoes with custom orthotics to support your walking or running. This will help prevent injuries to your feet and legs if your body isn’t use to exercise.
Diabetes is a devastating disease that is highly preventable and treatable. The best time to make some changes and start a new lifestyle is now. Of course, make sure you are doing everything under the supervision of a medical team. Have your primary care physician closely monitor your medications and blood sugar. Diabetics are at very high risk for developing infections in their feet that may lead to amputations. Come into our office to have your feet examined by one of our podiatrists. Call 813-875-0555 for an appointment today.