PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Basketball legend Earl “The Pearl” Monroe is teaming up with Merck on the Diabetes Restaurant Month program to challenge restaurants in Philadelphia to create diabetes-friendly menu items which are also heart healthy.

Diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in 1998, Earl has learned how to maintain a diabetes-friendly lifestyle and reduce his risk of serious complications, like heart disease, through a healthy diet and regular exercise, and he aims to inspire others to do the same by making a few small changes every day, including making smart choices while dining out.

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Diabetes Restaurant Month is a program that strives to educate people with diabetes about the importance of making more informed dietary choices when eating out.

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Click here for tips on physical activity and healthy eating, Earl’s favorite diabetes-friendly recipes, and information about the basics of diabetes management, including blood sugar, blood pressure, and cholesterol control.

Ten other restaurants in Philadelphia have taken the challenge to create delicious diabetes-friendly and heart-healthy dishes (with the help of a registered dietician and an endocrinologist) for one month (June 8-July 8) for Merck’s Diabetes Restaurant Month program. Diners are encouraged to visit restaurants in Philadelphia to try featured diabetes-friendly dishes during Diabetes Restaurant Month.

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