According to the Centers for Disease Control, more than 29 million people in the United States have diabetes. About 86 million adults have prediabetes, and 15-30 percent of them will develop Type 2 diabetes within five years. These numbers are continuing to grow each year. Learn how you can lower your risk of developing diabetes or help a loved one lower their risk:

1. One of the most important things to do to lower the risk of diabetes is to eat healthy foods.

2. When you go to the grocery store, choose lean meats, low-fat dairy products and whole grain foods. Avoid prepackaged snack foods, like chips and soda.

3. An easy way to stay on track with healthy eating is to keep unhealthy foods out of your home. Plan what you’re going to eat each week, and base your grocery list off your planned meals. Don’t stray from your list when shopping.

4. Smokers have higher risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. Smoking also increases your risk of heart attacks and strokes. If you do smoke, try to quit. Check out these tips for quitting if you aren’t sure where to start.

5. Get your cholesterol checked every five years to ensure your levels are healthy. Get it checked more often if your doctor recommends it.

6. Include exercise in your daily routine. Try to get moving for at least 30 minutes a day. Even if you don’t have time for 30 minutes of exercise, a short walk is better than nothing.

7. Set attainable goals for eating healthy and exercising. Take a look at these tips for setting attainable, measurable goals. Take small steps to better your health.

8. It’s said that eating too much sugar causes diabetes, but that is a myth. However, it’s recommended to limit your sugar intake for overall health reasons.

9. Choose healthy fats like canola, avocado or olive oils instead of unhealthy saturated fats.

10. Lower your salt intake. Opt for flavorful spices and herbs to season foods.

There are many other ways to lower your risk of Type 2 diabetes. We recommend working with a health care provider to find the best treatment plan for you. If you have questions about our services or how we help people who have Type 2 diabetes, please contact us.