Fighting the Good Fight Against Diabetes
Diabetes is a serious health condition that not only affects your lifestyle, but puts you at risk for other health conditions including high blood pressure, stroke, and nerve damage. Many Americans are at risk for type 2 diabetes, and the numbers are growing yearly.
According to the ADA (American Diabetes Association):
- · An estimated 366 million people around the world have diabetes
- · There are about 4.6 million diabetes-related deaths each year
- · About 25.8 million Americans have diabetes (about 8.3% of the population)
- · About 95 % of Americans that have diabetes, have type 2 diabetes
Type 2 diabetes is often associated with obesity because obesity is a large risk factor for developing the condition. Genetics, family history and lifestyle (poor diet and unhealthy weight) are risk factors for type 2 diabetes. A big concern of the ADA is that many people who have diabetes are unaware, and do not, therefore, take steps to alter the progression of the disease.
Education is critical to changing the direction of these issues. I want you to understand why being overweight (over eating, eating unhealthy foods, portion control) affects diabetes. Being overweight puts strain on your body and your organs. In effect, you are ‘padding up’ your organs, which require them to strain to do their jobs. This excessive weight can cause heart disease, arthritis and diabetes.
Regular exercise is also required if you are going to change the overweight condition. This needs to be guided by your doctor’s approval and recommendations for how to begin. Once you develop a workout plan, create a chart or diary that shows your intention, and helps to hold you to participate at least 5 days per week.
Try utilizing a food diary or food app for your phone. Accountability is important if you want to make the changes to become a “lifestyle-change”. Ask for your family’s assistance in keeping you on track, and supporting your plan. Part of the logic in asking for their help is the increase in pre-diabetes among younger people. They look to their parents or caregivers as role models for their own eating and exercise patterns. What do they see when they watch you?
Some positive changes that you can make to your food plan are to eat at home more, reduce or stop drinking any kind of soda, move to eating whole foods versus processed foods, and make vegetables cover 50% of your dinner plate. Read the blogs here at Paula’s Healthy Living, follow my boards of the same name on Pinterest (great recipe, exercise and healthy living suggestions), read the mini posts on Facebook (PaulasHealthyLiving) and read my tweets (@PaulaMaier3) on Twitter. All the daily info on these sources is different from each other.