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Honoring the Gift of Heart Health for American Indians

Section Six - Protect Your Heart: Take Good Care of Your Diabetes for Life

Protect Your Heart: Take Good Care of Your Diabetes for Life
What Are the Symptoms of Diabetes?
Do You Have Diabetes?
Sally's Family Plan To Prevent Diabetes
Take Action: Check the Steps You Will Take To Prevent or Control Diabetes

Sally's Family Plan To Prevent Diabetes

  • Get 30 to 60 minutes of moderate physical activity on most days.

    • Walk with family or a friend.
    • Play traditional games.
    • Dance to your favorite music.
    • Lift hand weights, stretch, or ride an exercise bike while you watch TV.
    • Chop wood, do housework, garden, or do other yard work.

  • Eat less sodium, saturated fat, trans fat, cholesterol, and sugar.

    • Season food with herbs and spices instead of salt.
    • Trim the fat off meat and the skin off chicken.
    • Bake, broil, boil, or roast instead of frying.
    • Use a small amount of vegetable oil instead of lard or butter.
    • Cut down on sausage, bacon, and fried pork.
    • Drink water and sugar-free beverages.

  • Eat more fiber.

    • Choose whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and beans.
    • Add fruit to your lunch.
    • Add vegetables to soups and casseroles.

  • Stay at a healthy weight. Lose weight if you are overweight.

    • Eat smaller portions—Do not go back for a second serving.
    • Drink water or other calorie-free drinks.

  • If you smoke, stop.

    • Ask your doctor, family, or friends to help you to quit smoking.


  • If you have diabetes, add these steps to control your diabetes:

    • Check your blood glucose (blood sugar) levels as the doctor tells you.
    • Take your medicines as the doctor tells you, even when you feel fine.
    • Ask your doctor about taking aspirin to prevent a heart attack.
    • Check your feet every day. Check for cuts, bruises, red areas, or swelling.
    • Brush your teeth and use dental floss every day.
    • See your eye doctor once a year, or more often if you have complications.
    • See your dentist regularly and consult a registered dietitian if you need help with your eating plan.
    • Find support to help you handle stress.

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U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES
Public Health Service
National Institutes of Health
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
NIH Publication No. 08-6340
June 2008



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