Every five minutes, sixteen American adults are newly diagnosed with diabetes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In 2014, nearly 10% of the U.S. population had been diagnosed with this disease, affecting people of all ages and ethnicities. Another one in four people weren’t aware they had it.

In this kit, we explore how diet and lifestyle can help reverse the effects of diabetes. Just in time to prepare for Diabetes Month in November, you’ll have resources to share with shoppers and patients. We’ve included lots of tips for better eating and healthier lifestyle habits, family-friendly recipes everyone is sure to enjoy, and a summary of the latest research on how a healthy diet is the first line of defense against this disease.

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Magnifying Glass

Five research studies show how healthy foods, especially those found in the Mediterranean Diet, can help prevent or manage a variety of diseases including type 2 diabetes. One study looks at how artificial sweeteners may change our bodies’ ability to regulate blood sugar, potentially leading to diabetes. Links to the research are included.

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Understanding the role of blood sugar (glucose) is particularly important for those with diabetes. This resource explains what glucose is, how it functions in our bodies, and what happens when we get too much or too little. Distinguishing foods is easier when the concepts of glycemic index, glycemic load and glycemic response are understood as well. Along with these explanations, we include a dozen tips for choosing the right foods to keep blood sugar at a healthy level.

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Couple preparing vegetables

Switching to healthier foods is one lifestyle change that can help people manage their diabetes more easily. We take a look at the bounty of foods that can be enjoyed — from fruits to healthy fats — share some of their healthy benefits, and provide ideas for how to use them.

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Carbohydrates play a role in every healthy diet; after all, fruits, vegetables, legumes and whole grains are all carbohydrate foods. Those who are pre-diabetic or diagnosed with type 2 diabetes may be happy to learn that they can eat carbs, too – as long as they know how to tell “good carbs” from not-so-good choices. This one-page handout explains carb quality at a glance.

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Cupped Hands Holding Sprouted Grains

Whole grains are healthy grains and when they’re sprouted they get an extra boost of nutrition. Sprouted grains are showing up on grocers’ shelves in the form of intact grains, as flours, and in minimally-processed foods. This resource explains what they are and their health benefits.

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Pitcher and Glass of Water with Lemon and mint

We rely on fluids to keep our bodies and brains healthy. For those with type 2 diabetes, it’s especially important to stay hydrated because fluids help flush excess sugar out of the blood stream, lowering blood sugar levels. This resource explains how much fluid is recommended on a daily basis and how to stay hydrated throughout the day by drinking fluids and eating hydrating foods.

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Older couple jogging

Along with a nutritious diet, other lifestyle changes can help people who have diabetes lead healthier lives, including these six tried-and-true tips (which can be shared and used by the whole family).

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Colorful illustration of vegetables

This simple quiz helps teach people about the importance of healthy eating and physical activity. Answers explain why carbs, fiber, and fats, along with exercise are necessary for everyone, including people with diabetes.

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Mediterranean Spicy Salmon

A few simple ingredients add up to a lot of flavor with this recipe. The zesty marinade can be used on most any fish, but is especially delicious on salmon.

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Farfalle with Avocado Sauce

People may be surprised to learn that pasta is a low glycemic food, and when paired with the healthy fat found in avocado, the glycemic response is blunted even further. Creamy and fresh tasting, this is a dish everyone will love!

Social Media Resource
Twitter logo white bird on blue background

These Tweet ideas coordinate well with resources we’ve featured in this ONE Diabetes Toolkit.