November is National Diabetes Month.
Diabetes is a serious condition that happens when your body cannot make enough of a hormone called insulin or cannot properly use the insulin it has. Insulin helps your body digest sugars that come from what you eat and drink. Without enough insulin, sugar builds up in your blood. Over time, having too much sugar or glucose in your blood can cause health problems.
More than 30.3 million Americans have diabetes, or about 9.4 percent of the population. About 1 in 4 people with diabetes do not know they have the disease. Another 84.1 million have pre-diabetes, a condition in which a person’s blood sugar is high, but not high enough to trigger diabetes.
According to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, adults with diabetes are nearly twice as likely to die from heart disease or stroke as people without diabetes. This is because over time, high blood glucose from diabetes can damage your blood vessels and the nerves that control your heart. The good news is that steps taken to manage diabetes can also help lower the risk of having heart disease or a stroke.
Manage your A1C, blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Ask your health care team what your goals should be.
Develop or maintain healthy lifestyle habits. Follow a healthy eating plan and make physical activity part of your routine. To reduce stress, try gardening, taking a walk or listening to favorite music.
Stop smoking or using other tobacco products. If you have diabetes and use tobacco, your risk of heart problems is even greater. Both tobacco use and diabetes narrow blood vessels, so your heart has to work harder.
Take medicine as directed. It is important that those with diabetes take any medicine as prescribed by a physician. Talk with your doctor if you have questions about your medicines and do not stop taking them without checking with your doctor first.
Skillet Zucchini and Mushrooms
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 green pepper, chopped
- 1 onion, chopped
- 3 zucchini, sliced
- 1/2 pound fresh mushrooms, sliced or 1 (6.5 ounce) can mushrooms, drained
- 1/2 cup shredded Mozzarella cheese
In a large skillet, heat oil. Sauté green pepper and onion. Add zucchini and cook, covered until tender. Add mushrooms and heat through.
Spoon into a 2-quart baking dish. Sprinkle with cheese. Cover and let stand for 5 minutes or until cheese is melted. Serve hot.
Makes 6 servings.
Nutrition information per serving: 70 calories, 4g fat, 60 mg sodium, 5 g carbohydrates 1 g fiber.