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Every year in November, American Diabetes Month is observed to shed light on the disease. Roughly 30 million children and adults in the United States have diabetes and another 84 million Americans have pre-diabetes. Chances are we, or someone we care for, is affected by it. This month, let’s come together to help stop type 2 diabetes by creating awareness and promoting healthy eating.

Many things can contribute to the development of type 2 diabetes, including family history, diet and lifestyle choices. Regular exercise and a healthy diet can help prevent, treat, and manage type 2 diabetes. Additionally, research shows that eating more dairy foods may reduce the risk for developing type 2 diabetes. The unique nutrition of dairy foods may be contributing to this. For example, researchers are finding that protein in dairy as well as dairy fat may play a role reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes. Who knew?

Here are a few ideas to incorporate milk, cheese and yogurt into a well-balanced diet to prevent the risk of developing type 2 diabetes:

  • Start with Breakfast:

-Add low-fat milk to whole grain cereal with fresh fruit

-Make scrambled eggs with milk and top with your favorite cheese

-Stir up a bowl of instant or old-fashioned oatmeal with milk or make overnight oats with milk, yogurt, oats and fruit

-Blend up a smoothie with low-fat milk or yogurt and frozen berries

  • Make Meals Healthier:

-Use milk instead of water when preparing canned or packaged soups

-Sprinkle shredded cheese on top of broccoli, beans, whole grain rice, or other family favorites

-Use milk instead of water when preparing instant mashed potatoes, rice, or stuffing.

-Use yogurt for vegetable or fruit dips

  • Choose Smart Snacks:

-String cheese and fruit or whole grain crackers

-Milk or yogurt smoothies with sliced bananas or strawberries

-Cottage cheese or Greek style yogurt with fruit

-Ice cream, frozen or regular yogurt with fresh fruit