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Eat Fruits and Veggies to Lose Weight & Lower Your Risk for Type 2 Diabetes

Image: Eat Fruits and Veggies

If you have a family history of diabetes, or you’ve been told by a health care professional that you’re at risk for type 2 diabetes, you can prevent or delay the onset of the disease by losing 5 to 7 percent of your body weight (10 to 14 pounds if you weigh 200 pounds). To lose weight safely, make healthy food choices, like eating more fruits and vegetables, and be physically active for 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week.

The National Diabetes Education Program (NDEP) has tips for how you can add more fruits and vegetables to your day:

  • Buy fresh produce and freeze some to use later. You can also buy frozen, dried, or canned vegetables and fruits. If buying packaged produce, choose fruit without added salt, butter, or sauces.
  • Add spinach, onions or mushrooms to your omelet.
  • Top your pancakes, cereal, oatmeal, or toast with strawberries, peaches, blueberries or bananas.
  • Cook your favorite lasagna recipe with broccoli, carrots, zucchini or eggplant.
  • Make a salsa by mixing different fruits and vegetables such as tomatoes, mangos, onions, and peppers with lime juice and cilantro.
  • Try steaming your vegetables or using low-salt spices and lemon juice to add flavor.
  • Choose pineapples, peppers, mushrooms, or tomatoes as pizza toppings.
  • If you’re eating out, ask for a side of vegetables or side of salad instead of french fries or chips.
  • Visit an ethnic food store or farmer’s market to try a new fruit or vegetable each week. Ask for recipes while you are there.

Fruits and vegetables give you important vitamins, minerals, and fiber, and most are low in calories. When eating a meal, fill half your plate with fruits and vegetables.

More information about ways to prevent Type 2 Diabetes is provided in the NIDDK health topic, Your GAME PLAN to Prevent Type 2 Diabetes. Download or order the tip sheet and more free resources by visiting our online catalog.


The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ National Diabetes Education Program (NDEP) is jointly sponsored by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) with the support of more than 200 partner organizations.

This information is not copyrighted. The NIDDK encourages people to share this content freely.


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August 2013

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