Sunday, June 22, 2008

Eat Fruits and Veggies to Lose Weight & Lower Your Risk for Type 2 Diabetes

(NAPSI)-If you have a family history of diabetes, or you've been told by a health care professional that you're at risk for type 2 diabetes, you can prevent or delay the onset of the disease by losing 5 to 7 percent of your body weight (10 to 14 pounds if you weigh 200 pounds). To lose weight safely, make healthy food choices, like eating more fruits and vegetables, and be physically active for 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week. The National Diabetes Education Program (NDEP) recommends easy and inexpensive ways to increase the number of fruits and vegetables you eat as you take small steps to lose weight and lower your diabetes risk:

• Visit an ethnic food store or farmer's market to try a new fruit or vegetable each week.

• Substitute spinach, onions, or mushrooms for one of the eggs or half of the cheese in omelets.

• Buy produce in season and freeze some to use later, or buy frozen, dried, or low-sodium canned vegetables and fruits. Choose fruit without added sugar or syrups and vegetables without added salt, butter, or sauces.

• Add strawberries, peaches, blueberries, or bananas to your waffles, pancakes, cereal, oatmeal, or toast.

• Add broccoli, carrots, zucchini, or eggplant between the layers of your favorite lasagna recipe.

• Combine different fruits and vegetables such as tomatoes, mangos, onions, and peppers with lime juice and cilantro to make salsa.

• Try steaming your vegetables or using low-salt spices and lemon juice to add flavor.

• Choose pineapples, peppers, mushrooms, or tomatoes as pizza toppings.

• Add lettuce, tomato, onion, and cucumber to sandwiches, wraps, and burritos.

Eating more fruits and vegetables also supplies essential vitamins, minerals, and fiber that may help protect you from chronic diseases. To learn more about how many fruits and vegetables you need daily, use the online calculator at www.fruitsandveggiesmat ter.gov. For a free copy of NDEP's Your GAME PLAN to Prevent Type 2 Diabetes, which includes a fat and calorie counter and physical activity tracker, plus more diabetes prevention tips, call 1-888-693-NDEP (6337) or visit www.YourDiabetesInfo.org.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' National Diabetes Education Program is jointly sponsored by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) with the support of more than 200 partner organizations.

Eating more fruits and vegetables can help people with diabetes take small steps toward losing weight and lowering their risk for the disease.

By The National Diabetes Education Program