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Actress and TV Personality Sherri Shepherd Shares Her Three-Step Plan for Managing Diabetes

(BPT) - Growing up, Sherri Shepherd was very familiar with diabetes. Her family and community called it “the sugar,” a non-threatening name for a serious condition that ended up taking her mother’s life. “The sugar” was something that sounded sweet, but later turned her life upside down — thankfully, for the better.

While more than 34 million Americans[i] have some form of diabetes, when Sherri was diagnosed with pre-diabetes, she shrugged it off. Given everyone in her family had diabetes, she saw the diagnosis and the idea of living with the condition as a way of life — it simply seemed inevitable that she would develop it too. At the time, she didn’t realize the choices she was making about her diet and exercise could help change the course of her diagnosis.

A week ahead of starting a new and exciting career, as a co-host of The View, Sherri was officially diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, which is approximately 90 to 95% of all U.S. diabetes cases[ii]. As Sherri dealt with the nerves of starting this new career and chapter in her life, she also struggled with her new diagnosis. However, she made a promise to herself, and to her son, that she would take her diagnosis and her health seriously moving forward.

Taking a no-nonsense approach to her diagnosis, Sherri’s doctor armed her with a comprehensive treatment that included new and healthy habits that ultimately taught her how to manage her diabetes through diet and exercise. The immediate and proactive plan led to a shift in Sherri’s life she never thought possible, a shift to the healthiest life she has ever lived. Now, Sherri follows a three-part plan to manage her diabetes and maintain the healthy lifestyle she has grown accustomed to.

Planning Healthy Meals with Just a Plate

One way Sherri manages her diabetes is by following the “plate method.” She fills half her plate with low-glycemic foods like green salads, veggie slaws and grilled peppers and onions. Next, one-fourth of her plate is filled with whole grains, starchy vegetables or beans, like fresh peas, savory black beans, hummus or brown rice. Finally, the remaining quarter of her plate is a lean protein, like grilled salmon, chicken breast or spicy tofu. “I used to never eat vegetables unless they were covered in cheese,” said Shepherd, “but I found with my new diet there can be fun ways to make delicious, healthy meals.”

15 Minutes a Day: A Guide to Staying Active

Sherri is also committed to staying active. On days when she can’t make it to the gym, she has set a minimum goal of 15 active minutes, no matter what. Throughout the day, Sherri looks for ways to get active while doing household activities. Whether it’s vacuuming the house or cleaning out a closet, working in her garden or riding a bike, she’ll sneak in lunges while moving around the house or do pushups against the kitchen counter while cooking a healthy meal. Sherri says that looking for new ways to get her body moving keeps her motivated to meet those 15 minutes a day.

Know Your Numbers

Finally, Sherri has made it a habit to stay on top of her glucose levels. She recently switched to using a continuous glucose monitoring system which provides her with minute-by-minute glucose readings, real-time alarms letting her know when her glucose is too high or low and time in range reports so she understands what’s happening inside her body throughout the day. After choosing the FreeStyle Libre 2 from Abbott, she is now leveraging the system’s mobile app to help her see how her diet and exercise positively affect her glucose levels in real time, on the go and right from her phone.

By committing to her three-part plan of diet, exercise and knowing her numbers, Sherri has brought her HbA1c levels down to a healthy 5.4%. “I want to show others living with diabetes that nothing is written in stone. It hasn’t always been easy, but I’m living proof that not only can you manage type 2 diabetes — you can thrive in spite of it, if you put in the work,” said Shepherd.

For more information on the FreeStyle Libre system and to request a free sample, visit

Indications and Important Safety Information

FreeStyle Libre 2 system: Failure to use FreeStyle Libre 2 system as instructed in labeling may result in missing a severe low or high glucose event and/or making a treatment decision, resulting in injury. If glucose alarms and readings do not match symptoms or expectations, use a fingerstick value from a blood glucose meter for treatment decisions. Seek medical attention when appropriate or contact Abbott at 855-632-8658 or