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Diabetes is a chronic illness that occurs when too much glucose (sugar) stays in the blood. Symptoms of diabetes include unusual thirst, frequent urination, blurred vision, extreme fatigue and frequent infections.

Over time, high blood sugar levels can cause a number of serious health complications, including heart disease, blindness, kidney failure and amputation. Anyone who is overweight and 45 or older should be tested for diabetes.  All it takes is a simple blood test, performed by your doctor. Here are three steps you can take to help prevent diabetes.

1) Every Pound Counts: Studies show that losing just seven percent of your body weight can prevent or delay diabetes. For example, if you weigh 145 pounds, losing just 10 pounds can make a huge difference in lowering your risk.

2) Get Your Heart Pumping: A good goal is to walk 30 to 45 minutes a day, five days a week.

3) Watch What You Eat: Buy leaner meats and low-fat or skim milk and yogurt. Increase the fiber in your diet by eating more whole-grain breads and cereals. Stay away from soda, sweets, chips and other snack foods.