Eat Right and Help Stop Diabetes in its Tracks

The American Diabetes Association has declared November American Diabetes Month

There is no question that one of the greatest health threats of our time is the diabetes epidemic which already impacts 26 million Americans.  In addition to those already diagnosed with Type II diabetes, there are another 79 million with pre-diabetes that are also at risk for developing this life-long condition.  Considering the current cost of treating those with the condition, which is estimated at about $174 billion, the diabetes epidemic is also a financial crisis for this country.  If even a third of those with pre-diabetes become diabetic, it doubles the cost of care.  These are the reasons the American Diabetes Association (ADA) works hard every day to stem the rising tide of diagnosis and get the country on a path to a country free of diabetes.

Every November, the ADA expands their every day efforts in order to increase awareness during American Diabetes Month.  Held each November, the activities and events held throughout the month help bring people together to raise awareness and work at overcoming this disease.  This year, the ADA is sponsoring one awareness effort aimed at helping those without the disease get a glimpse of what it is like to live with it.  “A Day in the Life of Diabetes” can be found on the ADA’s Facebook page.

In addition to the other awareness and education activities happening over the course of the month, the ADA wants us all to understand that when it comes to preventing diabetes, there are things we can do.  The biggest change many of us can make that has a real and immediate impact on our diabetes risk is to lose weight.  Almost two-thirds of adults in this country are overweight or obese which is one of the leading risk factors for developing diabetes that we can control.   Additionally, one of the other major diabetes risk factors is not getting enough physical activity, which often goes hand in hand with being overweight.

All this means that the best way to protect your health and lower the likelihood of becoming diabetic during your lifetime is to eat a healthy diet and be physically active.  Eating foods that are nutritionally dense but light on calories will help you achieve and maintain a healthy weight and reduce your risk of developing Type II diabetes.

Here are some of the great foods grown right here in Arizona that you can use to create a healthier lifestyle, reduce your weight, and lower your risk for diabetes.

  • Beans, which are packed with fiber and protein, provide a great source of nutrition with a low calorie count.
  • Dark Green Leafy Vegetables like spinach and kale provide a lot of nutrition but are low enough in calories that you can eat as much as you want.
  • Citrus Fruit like lemons and grapefruit provide a good source of fiber, a bunch of vitamin C, and can help soothe a sweet tooth that is longing for some less healthy snacks.
  • Sweet Potatoes provide more nutritional value than standard potatoes and can be used to replace them in many dishes and menus.

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