The Latino community is more at risk for diabetes than the general U.S. population—and that means awareness of diabetes is critical for your family. The Latino population overall has a 16.9% incidence of diabetes, compared to a 10.2% incidence for white Americans—a substantial difference that only increases with age, as 50% of Latin-Americans will experience type 2 diabetes by the age of 70. This is unnecessary, and should not be seen as an inevitable outcome of growing older. Type II diabetes is yours to avoid. So how can you help protect your family (and yourself) and decrease the odds of developing diabetes over time? Here are a few tips:
Control your weight. By taking steps to control your weight, you can help lower the odds that you will develop diabetes. Women who struggle with obesity are particularly likely to develop diabetes over time.
Be active. Get out of the house, particularly away from the television. The more active you are, the lower your risk of developing diabetes. Looking for a place to start? Consider a walk or bike ride at the park, playing an active sport with your kids, or engaging in a family Nerf battle—whatever it takes to get you all out and moving.
Change up your diet. By making a few simple changes, you can help increase your health and decrease your risk of diabetes. For example:
- Choose whole grain products instead of highly processed grains.
- Avoid soda and ‘juice drinks’ and opt for water, plain coffee or tea, or 100% juice instead. Recent studies have shown that replacing even one sugary drink per day can decrease your risk for developing diabetes by up to 18%.
- Choose healthy fats (like those in nuts, seeds, and olive oil) instead of empty fats (like margarine, baked goods, and sugary treats).
- Reduce consumption of red and processed meats.
- Try incorporating some of these 10 sugar-free foods into your diet.
These simple changes won’t make a huge difference in your overall diet, but they can make a big difference in your odds of developing diabetes over time. It’s an effort worth making.