One in 12 D.C. residents has been diagnosed with diabetes. Diabetes is one of the leading causes of disability and death in the District, with highest rates in wards 4, 5, 7, and 8.

To raise awareness about diabetes and healthy living, LCHC Healthy Ties is proudly participating in American Diabetes Month. It’s time to take control of your blood sugar and live a healthier life.

If you are overweight, have high blood pressure, or are 45 or older, you are at higher risk of developing diabetes. The good news? You can lower blood sugar by making healthy choices.

Here are five tips to help prevent or reduce high blood sugar:

  1. Be active and get moving every day. Regular exercise, like walking, dancing, or working in the yard, can help lower your blood sugar.
  2. If you are overweight, cut calories and reduce portion sizes. Try using smaller plates and cups, drink more water, and eat slower during mealtimes.
  3. Eat healthy types of carbohydrates. Replace sugar-sweetened beverages and desserts high in sugar with fruits, vegetables and whole grains to help keep your blood sugar levels healthy.
  4. Take medications or insulin daily, as prescribed by your health provider. Medications work better when you eat a balanced diet and are active.
  5. Check in with your health care team. Contact your doctor or visit a clinic to get a blood sugar test and learn how to prevent or manage diabetes.

Learn How to Prevent and Manage Diabetes – The DC Department of Health has compiled a wonderful resource that lists all the diabetes management programs throughout the city with details including services offered, location, and contact information.

The National Diabetes Education Program offers a listing of more than 50 ways to prevent diabetes with great, realistic tips to incorporate into your day-to-day routine.