By Andrea Guastamacchio, RD, CDE
Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, Certified Diabetes Educator
Diabetes Alert Day® is on March 24, 2020! This day focuses on the seriousness of diabetes
and the importance of understanding your risk. The prevalence of diabetes
has skyrocketed over the last few decades bringing the overall number
of Americans affected to 30.3 million, which translates to 1 in 10 people.
It should also be pointed out that 1 in 4 people don’t know they
have it. It is important to know your risks factors in order to assess
if you or your loved ones should be tested.
- Family History
- Over the age of 40
- Certain ethnic groups
- Lack of physical activity
- Excessive intake of calories/carbs/processed foods
- Inadequate intake of plant-based foods
Prevention is always key. Therefore it is beneficial to learn about a healthy lifestyle sooner rather
than later. Most people have pre-diabetes for 3-5 years up to 10 years
before it turns into diabetes. CDC (Centers for Disease Control) statistics
show that 84 million people have pre-diabetes, which is 1 in 3 people.
The Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) conducted from 1996 to 2001 proved
you can cut your risk in half by implementing three lifestyle changes:
weight loss of 5-10 percent, eating healthy and incorporating physical
activity. This changed health care’s approach in how to prevent
diabetes and put more focus on education and lifestyle changes rather
Simple Steps you can take:
Timing of meals can play a role in metabolism, management of our appetite
and ability to stay on track. If you are starving, you are probably not
going to pick up a healthy option. Consider looking at your overall food
intake with the
- Get at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity activity every week, this
is 30 minutes 5x/week, which can be broken into more manageable time frames
of 10 minutes, 3x/daily.
- Follow the plate method. Dedicate half your plate towards non-starchy veggies
(e.g. broccoli, spinach, cauliflower, asparagus, Brussel sprouts, zucchini,
bell peppers, etc.).
- Include lean proteins, healthy fats or veggies when you consume carbs in
order to slow down digestion, leading to a slower and more manageable
rise in blood sugar for your body to contend with.
- Manage stress. Remember, stress over time can cause inflammation to your
system as well as lack of sleep, making it more difficult for your insulin
to respond to elevated sugar levels. Consider downloading an app like
Headspace, Calm or Ten Percent Happier.
Most people get overwhelmed with a complete overhaul to their lifestyle.
Take a deep breath, tackle one thing at a time, and then build on your
success by adding on another lifestyle intervention. This will make you
feel more confident to go on to the next item on your list. Reach out
to a professional; we have Registered Dietitians and Registered Nurses
certified in diabetes education to help navigate you toward your goals.
Torrance Memorial proudly boasts an ADA (American Diabetes Association)
approved Diabetes Management Program as well as a Diabetes Prevention Program.
If you have questions or would like further information on leading a healthier
lifestyle, contact one of our Registered Dietitian Nutritionists at the
Outpatient Medical Nutrition Therapy Office or our Diabetes Self-Management
Program located in the Torrance Memorial Specialty Center, 2841 Lomita
Blvd., Suite 335, Torrance. Call 310-891-6707. https://www.torrancememorial.org/Nutrition