Have you recently been diagnosed with diabetes or pre-diabetes? Or has your doctor warned you that you’re at risk? Healthy lifestyle changes can reverse diabetes. Your health can be improved by making small changes in the way you eat, adding in a little more exercise, and losing even a modest amount of weight.

You have more control over your health than you think. The most important thing you can do for your health is to lose weight. The biggest risk factor for developing diabetes is being overweight. Your risk is higher if you tend to carry your weight around your abdomen. Experts say that losing just 5% to 10% of your total weight can help you lower your blood sugar considerably, as well as lower your blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

Changing your lifestyle doesn’t mean living in deprivation. You can continue to eat and enjoy your favorite foods, and best of all, you don’t have to give up sweets or resign to carbohydrate counting. But you’ll probably need to learn some better eating habits. But what does eating right for diabetes mean? A diabetes diet is simply a healthy eating plan that is high in nutrients, low in fat, and moderate in calories.

The glycemic index (GI) tells you how quickly a food turns into sugar in your system. High GI foods tend to spike your blood sugar levels. These foods include white rice, white pasta, white bread, potatoes, sweets, chips, and many processed foods. They should be limited in your diet. Low GI foods include nuts, seeds, lean meats, seafood, whole grains, beans, brown rice, whole-wheat bread, and whole-wheat pasta. You should be eating a lot of non-starchy vegetables, beans and fruits such as apples, pears, peaches, and berries. Even tropical fruits like bananas, mangoes, and papayas.

If you’re diabetic, always monitor your blood glucose, as alcohol can interfere with diabetes medication and insulin. Beer and wine contain calories and carbs, while cocktails are loaded with sugar. Men and women should drink in moderation, with women one drink per day and men two drinks per day.

Should you be craving something sweet you should limit your bread, rice or pasta intake during your main meal. Eating sweets adds extra carbohydrates; it is best to cut back on other carbohydrates where possible. Make your indulgence count by eating slowly and paying attention to the flavors and textures. Think about cutting down on sweets by reducing soda and juice drinks, reducing the amount of sugar in recipes by ¼, and instead of ice cream, blend up frozen bananas, or a small piece of dark chocolate. You should also begin to replace your daily dessert with fruit.

There are various fats to consider when having a meal. Some fats are unhealthy, while other fats have high health benefits. The two most damaging fats are saturated fats and trans fats. Saturated fats are found mainly in animal products such as red meat, whole milk dairy products, and eggs. Trans fats are fats that are less likely to spoil. The best fats are unsaturated fats, which come from plant and fish sources. Good sources include olive oil, canola oil, nuts, avocados, salmon, tuna, and flaxseeds, which fight inflammation and support brain and heart health.

When it comes to preventing, controlling, or reversing diabetes, consider exercising. Regular exercise maintains your weight and can improve your insulin sensitivity. One of the easiest moderate-intensity activities is walking for 30 minutes five or more times a week, swimming or riding a bike.

Author's Bio: 

Michael Dornan is a passionate IT executive, who suffers from a condition, saw there was more that could be done to connect patients, created Social-medicine.org that intends to globally connect and help people.

Social-medicine.org, a health based social networking site, helps people suffering from a variety of health conditions, to globally connect, help and share information with others in similar situations, by focusing on bridging the gap of patient-to-patient communication, and patient-to-practitioner communication, with all the social networking features and functionality expected in today’s society.

Social Medicine fosters community support, where real people in similar situations come together, to circumvent negative feelings like disconnection and loneliness, and focus on improving self-esteem, understanding, communication, relationships, and peer support.