What You Can Do

Whether you have diabetes or are trying to prevent diabetes, making certain lifestyle changes can improve your health.


Increase Physical Activity

Physical activity can control blood pressure, reduce cholesterol levels, and help control and maintain weight.

Experts recommend moderate-intensity physical activity for at least 30 minutes on 5 or more days of the week. Some examples of moderate-intensity physical activity are walking briskly, mowing the lawn, dancing, swimming, or bicycling. If you are not accustomed to physical activity, you may want to start with a little exercise, and work your way up.


Eat a Healthy Diet

Diets rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fat free or 1% milk, lean meats, poultry, fish, beans, eggs, and nuts and low in saturated fats, trans fats, cholesterol, salt (sodium), and added sugars are optimal for maintaining a healthy weight. Consumption of 5 or more servings of fruits and vegetables every day is recommended to achieve a healthy diet.

Guidelines for healthy eating:

•  Eat 3 meals a day with healthy snacks inbetween

•  Pay attention to food portions

•  Choose foods lower in fat

•  Choose food high in fiber

•  Limit sweets and alcohol


Maintain a Healthy Weight

A combination of regular exercise and a healthy diet that is low in fat and high in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains is the best way to keep from getting overweight or obese. Be wary of fad diets that restrict certain nutrients and portion sizes that are too large.


Quit Smoking

If you do not smoke, don’t start. If you do smoke, try to stop. Need help quitting? Call the Hawaii Tobacco Quitline at 1-800-784-8669, or talk with your health care provider.


Work with your Health Care Provider

Regular visits to a health care provider can help you manage any health conditions. To help detect any complications from diabetes, diabetics should work with their health care provider to get appropriate treatment, such as hemoglobin A1C tests, blood pressure screening, lipid profile, diabetic foot exam, dilated eye exam, depresseion screening, and flu and pneumococcal immunizations.

The Importance of Managing Diabetes

In nine of ten cases, type 2 diabetes is preventable, manageable, and controllable through exercise, healthy diet, weight control and not smoking. Diabetics who manage their blood glucose and make healthy choices can prevent complications associated with diabetes. Such complications include:

•  Heart disease and stroke

•  Eye disease and blindness

•  Kidney disease

•  Nervous system disease

•  Amputations

•  Dental disease

•  Complications of pregnancy