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November is American Diabetes Month

November is American Diabetes Month (ADM), which is designed to communicate the seriousness of diabetes and the importance of proper diabetes control. * If current trends continue, 1 out of 3 Americans, and one in two minorities, born in 2000 will develop diabetes in their lifetime. * Since 1987 the death rate due to diabetes has increased by almost 50% while the death rates due to heart disease, stroke, and cancer have declined. * Keeping blood glucose, blood pressure, and cholesterol in control can make a difference in reducing your risk for heart attack or stroke. * Annual dilated eye exams and routine foot exams and blood pressure checks can prevent blindness, amputations, heart disease, kidney disease, and strokes. People with diabetes have the same nutritional needs as anyone else. Along with exercise and medications (insulin or oral diabetes pills), nutrition is important for good diabetes control. By eating well-balanced meals in the correct amounts, you can keep your blood glucose level as close to normal as possible. Making Health Food Choices - What foods are healthy? What foods are unhealthy? How do you establish a plan for eating healthy foods? Carbohydrate Counting is key - 15 gms of carbohydrate equal 1 carbohydrate. Evenly distribute carbohydrates throughout the day. Learn to read labels! Increase your fiber intakes and exercise as both help to control blood sugar. Sweeteners & Desserts - Having diabetes used to mean a lifetime of meals that lacked the most pleasant aspect of taste: sweetness. Today, the rules for avoiding sugar have been relaxed. New artificial sweeteners can give you sweetness that tastes as good as sugar, without sugars effect on your weight. Also small portions of an occasional sweet can be included in your diet. The ADA is the source for diabetes information. Call 1-800-342-2383 for information and materials. * Fill the plate two-thirds or more with vegetables, fruits, whole grains and beans and one-third or less of animal protein. * To improve sluggish appetites, use seasonings like herbs, spices, lemon juice, peppers, garlic, and vinegar, especially if salt is restricted. (Taken from Caregiver Assistance News)

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