November is National Diabetes Month

By Taylor Sutton, MS, RD

United Supermarkets’ Lifestyle Desk

It’s National Diabetes Month and did you know there are so many things in your risk factor profile that you can control to prevent or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes? It’s not a one size fits all question as each case is unique but we do see some general patterns.

Did you know that sugar intake alone doesn’t cause diabetes?

You can definitely manage your risk by building a healthy lifestyle. Now, that looks very different for every person but the main things we try and focus on are maintaining a healthy weight and creating strong physical activity patterns. By doing those two things alone you are helping to prevent things like high blood pressure, low HDL, and high triglycerides which can lead to prediabetes. There are other lifestyle factors that go into this but just starting off with the two basics can help set you on the right path toward prevention.

Did you know that diet and exercise are necessary to keep blood sugar under control?

To hit a little deeper on our last point your body needs sugar, aka carbohydrates, to perform normal body functions like brain function, breathing, blinking, organs pumping blood, etc. So a steady intake of carbohydrate during meals and snacks, during the whole day, is the goal. If you’ve ever “cut out carbs” you might have noticed a bit of irritability, brain fog, or lack of general focus. Let’s not demonize a macronutrient when the conversation needs to be more about the quality of overall choices and lifestyle.

The second point here is that exercise helps with insulin sensitivity. As a base function, insulin helps drive sugar into the cells to use as energy primarily after you eat. When exercising, your muscles contract and are able to uptake glucose (aka sugar) without insulin being available. Pretty cool huh?! Start by thinking through your day and what it would look like if you could change one thing towards a healthier alternative.

Did you know that about 34.2 million people in the US live with diabetes?

This includes both Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetics. While type 1 is diagnosed pretty early in life due to it being genetically passed along, type 2 is more-so in your control. However, there are some instances where diabetes can happen with people who have no apparent risk factors. An even more staggering statistic is that of the 34.2 million people, 7.3 million were undiagnosed? Knowing and understanding your risk is key to increasing the quality and quantity of your life. Know your numbers by taking control of your health today!

We know that change can be hard. Your whole lifestyle doesn’t have to change in order for it to be ‘healthier’. Small, consistent changes over the course of time are where we see change and better outcomes. It could be as simple as adding in an extra serving of vegetables somewhere in your day, adding another glass of water, opting for a ‘better for you’ product of something you are already eating, taking a 10 minute morning walk, and so on. As we continue through the holiday season, we encourage you to take a step back and be mindful with your lifestyle choices to extend your quality and quantity of life.

Hearty Beef Soup


1 lb. 93% lean ground beef

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/2 cup onion finely diced

2 stalks celery thinly sliced

3 cloves garlic, chopped

Salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste

1 can (15 oz.) diced tomatoes

1 can (8 oz.) tomato sauce

1 teaspoon Italian seasoning

5 cups beef broth

1/2 cup diced green beans, fresh or frozen

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley, optional

Shredded sharp cheddar cheese, for garnish


1. Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add ground beef, onion, celery, and garlic; cook for 5-6 minutes, until softened.

2. Add the canned tomatoes , tomato sauce, Italian seasoning, and beef broth to the pot; bring to a simmer.

3. Cook the soup for 25-30 minutes. Taste and season with salt and pepper if needed.

4. Stir in the green beans and cook for 5-10 minutes more. Serve the beef soup immediately, garnish with cheese and parsley. Enjoy!