Help prevent and manage diabetes with an active and healthy lifestyle

(BPT) – There’s nothing better than sitting before a steaming plate of delicious-smelling food and taking that first, delectable bite. Now imagine joining your family every night and sharing that delicious meal you prepared yourself.

Home-cooked meals are important to your family and their health, especially if you have a family member with diabetes. That’s because when you prepare your own foods, you can control the cost and the nutrients you eat while also ensuring the meal is delicious and satisfying for everyone in the family.

November is American Diabetes Month, and the American Diabetes Association is promoting America Gets Cooking(SM) to Stop Diabetes(R), which is presented by Sun Life Financial.

The initiative is designed to engage and inspire people to live a healthier, more active lifestyle in order to help prevent type 2 diabetes and manage all types of diabetes. The website, www.diabetesforecast.org/adm, has daily and weekly tips for everyone in your family to keep their momentum going through the month and longer. Here are some tips you can follow this holiday season and beyond to incorporate healthy eating and physical activity into your family’s lifestyle.

* Investigate healthy new recipes – It’s fun to try new foods, and when you cook them yourself, you know exactly how healthy they are. You might even find something to serve for the holiday meal over Thanksgiving or Christmas. In November, each Wednesday you can vote on recipes that you’d like to see served for a holiday meal. The winners will be unveiled at the end of the month. You can also check out healthy new recipes at Recipes for Healthy Living.

* Get moving after dinner – When dinner is finished, take time to go for a walk together as a family. Maintaining an active lifestyle is important for preventing type 2 diabetes and managing all types of diabetes. If your schedule is too full for a walk every night after dinner, consider replacing it with something equally actionable like vacuuming the house or mowing the lawn.

* Explore new aisles at the grocery store – When you do your weekly shopping at the grocery store, there are aisles that cater to healthier eating better than others. First, think about sticking to the exterior of the store, where you will find the produce, dairy and meat sections. Second, visit the spice aisle, which provides you with the mouthwatering ingredients your family will love. Finally, take a shopping list with you and stick to it. With a prepared list that captures the ingredients you’ll need all week, it will make your shopping trip much easier.

* Read the labels – Labels on food products at the grocery store tell you so much more than just calories. And for people with diabetes, this information is extremely important for managing their disease. For example, the carbohydrates can help an insulin-dependent person better calculate his dosage. And many people with diabetes also carefully monitor their sodium intake – another item found on the label.

* Calculate your savings – Eating at home can save you so much, and not just money. As you begin preparing more of your own meals, add up your savings in groceries versus restaurant costs, as well as calorie and carbohydrate reductions.

While recognizing American Diabetes Month, keep these tips in mind to help your family better prevent and manage the disease. Visit www.diabetesforecast.org/adm to find more daily tips and facts from the American Diabetes Association.

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