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Posts Tagged ‘omega 3 fatty acids’

November 14 is World Diabetes Day. The World Health Organization estimates that diabetes affects more than 346 million people worldwide. In the United States, diabetes afflicts more than eight percent of the population with about seven million of those undiagnosed.

Type 1 diabetes usually develops in childhood. The pancreas is unable to produce enough of the hormone insulin to convert blood glucose into energy. Only about five percent of those with diabetes have this form.

Type II diabetes is often called adult-onset diabetes. It is more prevalent in African Americans, Latinos, Native Americans, Asian Americans, and in the aged population. This type more commonly occurs as a result of excessive weight caused by a poor diet and too little exercise.

Diet is key in controlling diabetes. Often people who are overweight and diagnosed with the condition can improve or even eliminate the disease  by losing weight and eating a healthier diet. The American Diabetes Association (ADA) at http://www.diabetes.org/food-and-fitness/food/what-can-i-eat/ provides guidelines to improve eating. These include:

  • Make healthy food choices. Choose from a variety of vegetables, fruits, lean meats, whole grains, and low-fat dairy products.
  • Recognize and control intake of foods that raise blood glucose. Carbohydrates raise sugar levels in the blood. The carbohydrate sugar does not cause diabetes, but consuming too much can increase blood glucose levels and result in weight gain. However, not all sugars are bad. Sugars primarily come in the form of natural sources, such as fruits which are healthy for you, and added sugars. It is the latter that can create problems. Starch is another source of carbohydrate. Choose those higher in fiber and from whole grain sources.
  • Consume more diabetes superfoods. The ADA lists the following as superfoods: beans, dark green leafy vegetables, citrus fruit, sweet potatoes, berries, tomatoes, fish high in Omega-3 fatty acids, whole grains, nuts, and fat-free dairy products. Some of these foods are high in calories so enjoy but watch serving size.
  • Choose desserts sparingly and selectively. A diagnosis of diabetes doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy an occasional treat. Choose those with fewer calories and savor small portions.
  • Fats. Learn the difference between good fats and bad fats. Those from animal source generally aren’t as healthy while most from plant sources are.

If you are one of those nearly nineteen million in the US already diagnosed with type-2 diabetes, review your lifestyle and keep blood sugar levels under control. If you aren’t, remember these tips to stay healthy and enjoy living without the risk of this disease and its many medical complications. For more information, see the ADA website at http://www.diabetes.org/diabetes-basics/.

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