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Health Information for the Public

Juan's Family Plan To Prevent Diabetes


  • Walk with your family or a friend.
  • Dance salsa, merengue, or cumbia.
  • Lift hand weights, stretch, or ride an exercise bike while you watch TV.


  • Season food with spices instead of salt.
  • Trim the fat off meat and the skin off chicken.
  • Bake, broil, or grill 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.


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


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


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

If you already have diabetes, add these steps to control it.

  • Check your blood glucose ( blood sugar) levels as the doctor tells you.
  • Take 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 eye problems.
  • Find support to help you handle stress.

Lose a Little, Win a Lot

Juan says: "I am not waiting to get diabetes. I am taking steps now to prevent it. I walk every day for 40 minutes, and I eat smaller portions. I have lost 8 pounds."

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Public Health Service
National Institutes of Health
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
NIH Publication No. 08-6355
June 2008

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