The American Diabetes Association wants you to make it healthier, and here's why: Healthy eating is essential for avoiding Type 2 diabetes and its many complications, like heart disease and nerve damage. What better time to make a lunch lifestyle change than November, which is American Diabetes Month, according to the American Diabetes Association.

The infographic below reveals some surprising stats about Americans' lunch habits. For example, most of us buy it instead of bring it — yet eating one meal away from home each week results on average in about 2 extra pounds of body weight a year. And even though planning meals and snacks ahead of time allows us to make healthier choices, 63 percent of us decide what to eat less than an hour before sitting down.

Related: Does Your Diet Pass the MyPlate Test?

Need ideas for building a better lunch? Diabetes Forecast magazine has tips for crafting a more nutritious sandwich, along with eating healthier at restaurants and while traveling.

And check out our tips for making your child's lunch healthier, too.

Since most of us snack every day at the office, it also pays to make smarter snack choices. Skip the salty, fatty, sugary treats and try some roasted edamame or a hard-boiled egg instead.

NHLD infographic


(Photo: American Diabetes Association/American Diabetes Association)