Diabetes is the body’s inability to regulate the amount of sugar in the blood. There are two types of diabetes, Type 1 and Type 2. Type 1 diabetes means the pancreas doesn’t make any or enough insulin, a hormone produced to metabolize fat and carbohydrates in the body. Type 2 means that the pancreas doesn’t make enough and the body is unable to use it efficiently; the body can’t keep up.
Who is at risk? It used to be that Type 2 diabetes was aka “Adult Onset Diabetes” but now children as young as 5 & 6 years old are being diagnosed. Why? Mostly because of the Standard American Diet (SAD) truly sad how the acronym fits. What is the SAD? Highly processed, high fat content and over-indulgence of foods including meat, bread, cereals, potatoes, pastas, desserts and very few daily intake of vegetables and fruit.
Those who are over weight are at a higher risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. This can be reversed or changed by simply changing the diet and adding an exercise routine into their lifestyle.
What can you do to reduce your risk of developing diabetes? Make those dietary changes. It’s not going to happen over night but it can happen; all it takes is that first step then the next and so on.
A few tips to get you headed in the right direction are:
Eat more dark green vegetables, not only the leafy kinds, include broccoli, Brussels sprouts, green beans, snow peas, zucchini, cucumbers, bell peppers, celery, artichoke, leeks and so on.
Reduce dairy – we don’t need as much as we actually consume. Dairy isn’t the only source of calcium, colorful vegetables, fruit, beans, fish (salmon & sardines esp.), nuts and seeds.
Eat more beans like garbanzo, lentils, kidney, black beans, great northern but eat soybeans and tofu in moderation.
Eat lighter fruits-apples, pears, pomegranate, cranberries, and apricots
Reduce heavy fruits – bananas, pineapple, fig
Eat more whole grains – barley, millet, bulgur, quinoa, oats, non GMO corn, brown rice, are some
Less refined foods – white rice, pasta, white breads, choose whole grain breads instead, it should say “whole grain” on the package.
Less salt and more pungent spices like black pepper, cayenne, chili powder, ginger, mustard seed and cinnamon.
Get moving! Physical activity even 3-4 times a week is beneficial.