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Use It, Before You Lose It!

Fitastic March 28, 2013


On a typical day at a large medical center, two patients were having toes amputated, another had nerve damage, one was being treated for kidney failure, another for infection, and another was blind. Despite their variety, these problems were due to just one disease: Diabetes. On an average day nearly half of the inpatients at the medical center have diabetes. Every day in the US, 230 people with diabetes enter the final stage of kidney disease; and 55 go blind. A little over a decade ago, these complications which typically develop about 10-15 years after the onset of the disease, were rarely seen in people younger than age 60.  But now, as more and more children are being diagnosed with diabetes, experts are predicting that the typical patient will be more in the 20’s.

In general, people with diabetes should follow many of the same dietary guidelines recommended for those without diabetes.  One difference is that people with diabetes may need to eat less carbohydrate and slightly more fat or protein to help regulate their blood glucose levels. Carbohydrates are still an important part of the diet, but their intake may need to be reduced. Precise nutritional recommendations vary according to each individual’s responses to foods. In addition, people with diabetes should avoid alcoholic beverages, which can cause hypoglycemia.

The facts are we cannot control our family history, but we can eat a balanced diet, exercise regularly, and maintain and appropriate body weight. Studies show that losing only 10 to 30 pounds can reduce or eliminate the symptoms of type 2 diabetes. Also many cases of type 2 deabetes could be prevented or delayed with a balanced, diet, regular exercise, and achieving and/ or maintaining a healthful body weight.

Shoppers Guide

  • Select breads and cereals that are made with whole grains such as wheat, oats, barley, and rye.
  • Choose foods that have at lease 2 or 3 g of fiber per serving.
  • Buy fresh fruits and vegetables whenever possible. When appropriate, eat them with the skin left on.
  • Buy frozen vegies and fruits when fresh produce is no available. Check frozen selections to make sure there is no extra sugar or salt added.
  • Be careful when buying canned fruits and veggies, as many are high in sodium and added sugar. Foods that are packed in their own juice are more healthful that n=those packed in syrup.
  • Buy plenty of legumes, and eat some every day if possible. add them to soups, casseroles, and other recipes. If you are trying to consume less sodium, rinse canned beans to remove extra salt or choose low-sodium alternatives.

Resources: http://www.diabetes.org

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