For a 200-pound person, this amounts to a 10 to 14-pound weight loss. The cornerstone of diabetes prevention is weight reduction, which is achievable through a healthy diet and regular exercise. But to lose weight—and keep it off—people must understand how different food groups can be combined to form a well-balanced diet that sustains energy, while facilitating weight reduction.
To reduce the risk of Type 2 diabetes, the American Diabetes Association suggests the following food-wise choices:
- Substitute whole grains (whole-wheat bread, oatmeal, brown rice) for refined grain products (white bread, white rice). Get 14 grams of fiber for every 1,000 calories you consume.
- Limit dietary fat to about 30 percent of your total calories. Avoid trans fats (found in foods such as cakes, cookies, crackers, donuts, pies, potato chips, popcorn and French fries). Reduce intake of saturated fats (found in whole milk, cream, ice cream, whole-milk cheeses, butter, meats, palm, coconut oils and cocoa butter).
- Have a minimum of one serving of non-fried fish every week. If you are pregnant, you should consult with your physician. Vary your menu with skinless poultry and lean meats—for example, round steak, sirloin tip or extra lean ground beef.
- Eat more low-fat or nonfat dairy products each day such as yogurt or cottage cheese.
- Eat a variety of fruits and vegetables.