More than thirty million Americans, both children and adults, are living with diabetes—a fact that makes this disease deadlier in the US than AIDS and breast cancer combined. Though there is currently no cure for the disease, organizations like the American Diabetes Association (ADA) dedicate the month of November to raise funds toward research and education.

If you are living with diabetes or are at a high risk for the disease, there are many things that you can do to help improve your quality of life, or prevent the disease from escalating to an unmanageable level.

According to ADA, one in three adults is predisposed to diabetes, but there are a variety of factors that can contribute to the acquiring of both Type 1 and Type 2—the treatment and management of which are very different.

Types of diabetes:

Type 1
With Type 1 Diabetes, a person’s body is unable to produce enough insulin to control the level of sugar in the blood naturally. There is no known cure, and is most often diagnosed in children.

Type 2
This form of diabetes is more manageable than Type 1, and results from the body’s inability to utilize its insulin efficiently. More than 95 percent of diabetes cases in adults are diagnosed as Type 2.

Ways to prevent diabetes:

Without a known cure, it may seem like a diabetes diagnosis is uncontrollable. However, there are plenty of ways to help reduce your risk.

citrus-saladDiet and Exercise
The foods you put into your body, as well as how often you exercise, are key factors in your risk for developing diabetes at some point in your life. Healthy eating, particularly a diet high in protein and fiber and low in processed foods and sugar, is important, as well as maintaining an active lifestyle.

Weight Management
Hand in hand with your diet and level of physical activity is weight management, which is perhaps the most important determinant of who is at a higher risk for diabetes. According to the ADA, losing weight can cut the risk of developing diabetes nearly in half.

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Try one of these diabetic-friendly recipes, and follow these tips, in honor of Diabetes awareness month!