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(Many Paths)
An Online Newsletter Celebrating Native America
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Free Fat, Calorie Counter Available for Native People
by Cherokee Phoenix Staff Reports

Tahlequah, OK – The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ National Diabetes Education Program is offering a free fat and calorie counter that contains a list of foods commonly eaten by American Indians and Alaska Natives.

This food list helps people keep track of fat grams and calories eaten so that they can choose the healthiest food options. People may order the fat and calorie counter by emailing or visiting or go to

The NDEP said the list is another tool to help Native people with diabetes live longer, healthier lives.

Diabetes is a group of diseases marked by high levels of blood glucose resulting from defects in insulin production, insulin action or both. Diabetes can lead to serious complications and premature death, but people with diabetes can take steps to control the disease and lower the risk of complications.

Type 2 diabetes accounts for about 90 to 95 percent of all diagnosed cases of diabetes in adults. The disease occurs when the body does not make enough insulin or cannot use the insulin it makes effectively. This form of diabetes usually develops in adults over the age of 40 but is becoming more prevalent in younger age groups including children and adolescents.

The symptoms of Type 2 diabetes – feeling tired or ill, unusual thirst, frequent urination (especially at night), weight loss, blurred vision, frequent infections and slow-healing wounds – may develop gradually and may not be as noticeable as in Type 1 diabetes. Some people have no symptoms.

A person is more likely to develop Type 2 diabetes if they have a family history of diabetes, are a member of an ethnic group like American Indians and Alaska Natives, are overweight or obese, are 45 year old or older, had diabetes while pregnant (gestational diabetes), have pre-diabetes (glucose levels are elevated but not high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes), have high blood pressure, have abnormal cholesterol (lipid) levels, are not getting enough physical activity and have dark thick and velvety patches of skin around the neck and armpits.

About 16.1 percent of American Indians and Alaska Natives ages 20 years and older who are served by the Indian Health Service have diagnosed diabetes.

A 10-year study by the Diabetes Prevention Program shows Type 2 diabetes can be prevented if people lose 5 to 7 percent of their body weight (that’s 10 to 14 pounds in a person who weighs 200 pounds), are physically active for 30 minutes a day, five days a week and make healthier food choices and limited the amount of calories and fat in their diet.

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

For more information about preventing and controlling diabetes, call 1-888-693-NDEP (6337) or visit the National Diabetes Education Program’s website at

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American Indian/Alaska Native Fat and Calorie Counter
The Fat and Calorie Counter can help you keep track of the number of fat grams and calories in foods you may eat. Choose healthier options by: Eating fewer foods that are high in fat.; Making half of your plate fruits and vegetables. Talk to your health care team about developing a healthy eating plan.

National Diabetes Education Program
Established in 1997, the National Diabetes Education Program is a federally-funded program sponsored by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and includes over 200 partners at the federal, state and local levels, working together to improve the treatment and outcomes for people with diabetes, promote early diagnosis, and prevent or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes.

It’s never too early… to prevent diabetes. Learn more at

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