Preventing Type 2 Diabetes

Related Resources

Food, Diet and Recipes


Are You at Risk?

Pre-Diabetes Screening

Improving your lifestyle is a very powerful way to prevent or delay Type 2 Diabetes.
Prevention Tips
The Diabetes Prevention Program study conclusively showed that people with pre-diabetes can delay or prevent Type 2 Diabetes through diet and exercise.
  • Move toward an active lifestyle
    Exercise is a very effective way to lower blood sugars. Start gradually and ultimately aim for 30 minutes of activity such as walking, biking and swimming five times a week, for a total of 150 minutes per week. Be sure to check with your doctor before starting an exercise program.

  • Move toward a healthy weight
    Losing five to 10 percent of your body weight can reduce the risk of developing diabetes. As an example, if you weight 180 pounds, this would be a weight loss to nine to 18 pounds. 200 pounds would be 10 to 20 pounds.

  • Move toward healthy eating
    • Eat three regularly scheduled meals, including high-fiber grains like whole-wheat bread, brown rice or whole wheat pasta, sweet potato, corn, peas, fruits and vegetables and low-fat dairy and lean, protein-rich foods. (meat, chicken, fish, low-fat cheese)
    • Include a fruit and/or vegetable with all meals. Aim for three or five servings or more of vegetables per day and two to four servings of fruit per day.
    • Drink water, sugar-free or diet drinks instead of regular soda, fruit drinks and fruit juices.
    • Include sweet foods/desserts on special occasions only and eat small servings.
    • Be conscious of portion sizes. Take a little less than usual. Try using smaller plates and bowls. When eating out, split the entree or take half home.
    • Eat breakfast, choosing whole-grain cereals or 100% whole-wheat bread instead of sugared or low-fiber cereals.
    • Eat less fat, especially saturated fat, which is found in high-fat animal products such as fatty meats (bologna, bratwurst, hot dogs, salami), full-fat daily products such as whole or 2% milk, regular cheese, candy bars, coconut, palm oil and vegetable shortening.
    • Eat more dietary fiber, which is found in whole grains such as 100% whole-wheat bread, whole-wheat pastas, brown rice and whole-grain cereals. Aim for 25 to 35 grams of fiber per day.
    • Eat small servings of nuts regularly, approximately a quarter cup per day, instead of a candy bar or other sweets or snack foods.
    • Supplementing your diet with 1000 IUs of Vitamin D each day might help to prevent Type 2 Diabetes.
    • Aim for these levels of carbohydrates: Women - 45-60 grams per meal, no more than 15 grams per snack. Men - 60 to 75 grams per meal, no more than 30 grams per snack. Healthy carbohydrates include whole-grain bread, pasta, corn, peas, potatoes, milk, yogurt and fruit and should be included in modest amounts at every meal. Carbohydrates are not "bad;" rather, choose healthy carbs that also give you fiber, vitamins and minerals more often and have less healthy carbs like sweets less often.

Diet Considerations and Physical Activity for Pre-Diabetes and Metabolic Syndrome

About Our Programs
Active Living and Learning for Diabetes Prevention
A program of lifestyle change through self-management based on the successful National Institutes of Health Diabetes Prevention Program.