Diabetes affects people from various ethnic backgrounds differently. Experts believe that people of Hispanic descent have a higher risk for diabetes compared to other Canadians. They are also at high risk for heart disease. Because of this, it is especially important to take extra care to lead a healthy life.

Here are some healthy living tips:

  • Discuss your individual risk of diabetes: Since people of Hispanic descent have an overall higher risk, you should ask your physician, nurse, pharmacist, or other primary health care provider about your individual risk for diabetes.
  • Keep active: Regular exercise is good for everyone, and especially for people with diabetes. You may need to consult your health care provider on how much exercise is right for you.
  • Eat a balanced, culturally-relevant diet: Translated versions of Eating Well with Canada's Food Guide are available, along with an interactive tool that allows you to customize your own version of the Food Guide. Heart-healthy Hispanic recipe ideas can be found here. For more help, ask for a referral to a dietitian who is familiar with Hispanic foods.
  • Maintain a healthy weight: Check with your physician, nurse, and dietitian on how to reach and maintain a healthy weight over time.
  • Take your medications as prescribed: Medications are often a necessary part of diabetes management. Your physician or pharmacist can advise on the best medications for your diabetes and help you take them as prescribed.
  • Know your target numbers: People with diabetes have specific targets when it comes to blood sugars, blood pressure, and cholesterol. People who are able to reach these targets will have better long-term outcomes. Work with your health care team to reach your targets.
  • Get a checkup from head to toe: Your specialists and regular health care team can help you check for signs of eye, kidney, nerve, and feet problems.
  • Stop smoking as soon as possible: Smoking is harmful, and especially for people with diabetes. If you are a smoker, it's never too late to quit. There are many tools available to help you quit smoking.