November is Diabetes Awareness month here in the United States and today is World Diabetes Day. Diabetes, especially Type 2, has increased in prevalence in the US in the last few decades. We are now facing an epidemic with more than 100 million American adults now living with diabetes or pre-diabetes, according to a 2017 report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Almost 10
percent of the adult population has full-on diabetes, with more getting diagnosed every day. It sometimes seem like we all have a ticking time bomb inside of us and there’s not much we can do to prevent it from exploding.
Prevention is actually the key to defusing that bomb though. With the right lifestyle choices, diabetes doesn’t have to be your inevitable future, even if you have a family history of it. Following a healthy diet, low in processed food and carbohydrates, is one of the simplest prevention strategies you can follow. When you build your menu this week, think how each piece can add to your armor against diabetes. Look for healthy fats like nuts or olive oil, whole grains, vegetables and lean meats like beef, chicken or fish.
What to Avoid
If you are already facing pre-diabetes or Type 2 diabetes, don’t give up. There’s so many small dietary and lifestyle changes you can make to reverse the course of the disease. Look for meals with lots of protein and veggies (on our Web site look for the Ke symbol in the bottom righthand corner.) Avoid processed sugars and monitor your blood sugar so you don’t have spikes and valleys throughout the day. Build your menu first with vegetables, then add a lean meat and possibly a whole grain. Focus on snacks with healthy nuts and not a lot of sugar, like our Salt and Pepper Cashews. Not only will eating healthy meals help regulate your diabetes, you will be improving your weight and nutritional intake, which will help your overall health.
Food is Fuel
The food that fuels your body is the most important factor you can control to help affect diabetes. If that food is processed, deep fried, simple carbohydrates, no vegetables day in and day out, you are greatly increasing your risk of joining those 100 million other Americans facing this disease. If you start making small changes, adding in a new healthy meal each week, replacing a processed snack
with a whole grain, adding a side of cauli rice or zucchini, you will be taking the steps needed to either avoid diabetes altogether or take control if you are already at risk. Make a plan to eat better and the rest will begin to fall into place.