Tips for Preventing Type 2 Diabetes and Slowing the Cognitive Decline

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You may be able to prevent type 2 diabetes and slow cognitive decline by following these guidelines. Select a few of the ideas below to set your health and wellness goals.

Make Sleep a Priority - Eat more fruits and vegetables, whole grains​, lean proteins, and low-fat dairy options. Reduce sugar, salt, white grains, foods high in saturated fat, and processed foods.

Eat healthy - Eat more fruits and vegetables, whole grains​, lean proteins, and low-fat dairy options. Reduce sugar, salt, white grains, foods high in saturated fat, and processed foods.

Need food? Call Second Harvest at 1-800-984-3663 or visit Second Harvest website

Stay Hydrated - Choose water over sugary drinks such as sodas, juices, sports drinks, and sweetened coffees and teas. Make water more exciting by adding flavorings, like mint, lemon, or cucumber.

Lower your stress level  - Making small steps to reduce your stress level can have a significant impact on your health. Take a break from daily stressors with a 10-minute walk.  Spend time in nature to relax. When you’re feeling stressed, pause… take 3 deep breaths...think about something that makes you smile. 

Need to speak confidentially to a counselor? Call Mental Health Services at 1-800- 704-0900, or text the Crisis Textline by texting RENEW to 741741. 

Quit All Tobacco Products - If you use them, so that your body can heal. The sooner you can quit, the better you’ll feel. Smokers are 30–40% more likely to develop type 2 diabetes than nonsmokers. 

For help quitting, call 1-800-NO-BUTTS or visit the California Smokers' Helpline website​ . There are many FREE resources available to you. You may be eligible for free nicotine patches, sent directly to your home.

Stay Active - Being active has many health benefits. It helps improve your mood and overall health. Find ways to incorporate 30 minutes of movement into your day 5 times a week, for a total of 150 minutes of physical activity each week. Select activities that you enjoy. If you like the outdoors, local parks in your community can be found at the Santa Clara County Parks website.

Whether you stay indoors or go outdoors, staying active is easier if you pick activities that you like. Consider doing the activity with other household members. During the pandemic, remember to keep at least 6 feet or more away from people when outside your household. Some ideas: 

Stay Indoors 

  • Visit websites to find online videos such Move Your Way with activities you can do at home. 
  • Try a new activity such as yoga or dance to your favorite music. 
  • Incorporate stretching and balance activities throughout the day, many can be done sitting down or while standing. 
  • Play games with other family members such as scavenger hunts. 

Go Outdoors 

  • Go for a walk, or ride your bike, skateboard, or scooter around your neighborhood. 
  • Find a trail at a local Santa Clara County park​ and go for a hike or enjoy time relaxing outdoors. 
  • Plant a garden or just be in nature. 
  • Throw a ball around with family. 

Outdoor Safety Tips 

  • Safely use sidewalks while walking and look both ways before crossing. 
  • Make sure to ride your bike on the right side of the road where cars expect you. 
  • Go outdoors with a household member so you are not alone.

Maintain healthy blood pressure - Healthy blood pressure is below 120/80. High blood pressure is 140/90 or higher.

Maintain healthy cholesterol level - In general, people who do not already have heart disease should aim for:

  • LDL cholesterol below 130 mg/dl – or much lower, if they are at risk of heart attacks or strokes
  • HDL cholesterol above 60 mg/dl
  • Triglycerides below 150 mg/dl

Know Your Risk for Type 2 Diabetes 

Are you at risk for developing type 2 diabetes? 

Take Action! 

Complete the diabetes risk test to see if you are at risk for prediabetes or call the American Diabetes Association at 1-800-DIABETES (800-342-2383)

Know your blood glucose level. 

If you think you may have prediabetes or type 2 diabetes, talk to your doctor and get an A1C blood glucose test. 

If you’re at risk for developing type 2 diabetes… 

Get support. Join a Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP)

If you have type 2 diabetes… 

Take care of your health! Talk to your doctor. Take small steps. Select a health and wellness goal from this page. 

What COVID-19 Means to You If You Have Type 2 Diabetes… 

People with diabetes, lung disease, heart disease, and other chronic health conditions may be at risk for severe complications if infected by COVID-19.

Talk to your doctor about what you should do to take care of your diabetes at home. Practicing social distancing and self-care of your diabetes can help to reduce your risk of getting severely sick if you become infected by COVID-19.


Get the County updates on COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) at the County of Santa Clara Coronavirus website.

Need a COVID-19 test? If you are an essential worker or you think you’ve been exposed to the virus and don’t have insurance, find a free testing site .

For help with social services, visit the Social Services Agency website.

2-1-1 Santa Clara County – for FREE, confidential services in multiple languages, call 211 or go to the 211 website.

Have no health insurance and need to see a doctor? Contact Valley Connections for assistance at 1-888-334-1000.

Stay indoors and close the windows when air quality is bad. Sign-up air quality alerts at Spare the Air


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