11/21/2013 03:33 pm ET Updated Jan 25, 2014

November Is Diabetes Awareness Month

Most people now associate November with "Movember," the movement that encourages men across America to grow mustaches in order to raise awareness and money for prostate and testicular cancers. But November also happens to be American Diabetes Month, which is a disease that affects almost 26 million people in America. An additional 79 million people have pre-diabetes, meaning that they are at risk for developing Type 2 Diabetes down the line. A whopping 26.9 percent of people age 65 and above are living with diabetes.

According to the American Diabetes Association, if this trend continues, one out of every three Americans could have diabetes by 2050. The shocking part is that Type 2 Diabetes can be kept at bay through diet, exercise and lifestyle changes. Age, weight, level of physical activity, high blood pressure, and a family history of diabetes all affect your risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes. We spoke to New York City-based Dietician and Nutritionist, Robin Amylon, to collect some tips on how you can work on decreasing your risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes.

"Learning how to manage your health is the key to living a fuller life," says Amylon. "Consume a healthy diet and be sure to stay active! Exercise is a great preventative measure for many ailments."

Healthy Diet
  • Eat a variety of foods from all the food groups
  • Choose foods high in fiber and low in cholesterol and fat (especially saturated fat)
  • Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables (at least half your plate should be made up of these foods)
  • Choose lean meats
  • Choose whole grains over processed foods
  • Consume foods in as close to their natural state as possible
  • Eat in moderation and exercise portion control
Stay Active
  • Lowers blood sugar: 1 minute of exercise can lower your blood glucose level by 1 to 1.5 points
  • Lowers blood pressure and cholesterol
  • Helps improve weight management
  • Lowers your risk for heart disease and stroke
  • Helps insulin work more efficiently
  • Strengthens your heart, muscles and bones
  • Decreases body fat and increases muscle mass
  • Improves blood circulation
  • Reduces stress and improves self esteem
  • May help curb appetite
  • Keeps body and joints flexible

For further information on diabetes you can visit the following websites:

You can also contact the American Diabetes Association at 1-800-DIABETES (342-2383)