With the holiday season nipping at our heels this weekend I thought it the appropriate time to write about the proverbial message of “make good food choices at holiday parties.” Yes, we’ve all heard from our friends and read the healthy eating articles about “How not to gain the holiday lbs” and my message will certainly include the truth about that. However, today I am writing about a much more serious food related issue. Type 2 Diabetes.
The University of Chicago just released a study (you can see the CNN article here: http://www.cnn.com/2009/HEALTH/11/26/diabetes.projections/index.html) that projects within the next 25 years the number of Americans with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes will double. Of that projected 44.1 million, 90% of those cases will be Type 2.
Let’s briefly cover Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes so we all understand the drastic differences between the two. Type 1 diabetes is NOT a preventable disease. Type 1 diabetes occurs when the body loses the ability to break down glucose (food sugars) in the blood and turn food into energy. Typically you are diagnosed with Type 1 when you are young. The treatment for Type 1 is insulin injections.
Type 2 diabetes is a very preventable disease. Here are some things that will help reduce your risk of developing Type 2- high blood pressure, family history of heart disease, and (the most common) simply being overweight. For some people, they may not have any of these risk factors and their body still develops Type 2 diabetes however that number is low. We are seeing a rapid rise in the number of Type 2 diabetes that is directly linked to the obesity problem we have in this nation.
So, I am writing this message in hopes that we can start a chain reaction and help promote the message of a healthy lifestyle. I’m not saying you shouldn’t ever have ice cream or deep dish pizza or cake. I’m just saying you should have it every day. I’m not saying that you have to run 10 miles a day. I’m just saying you should try and be active every day, go for a walk, play tennis with your family, go to a park and play tag.
I know how to eat healthy can be a bit confusing, there are so many messages and so much information I understand it can be a bit overwhelming. So here are some great tips to help start your new life to healthy living!!
- Don’t keep soda in your fridge. If you don’t keep soda in your fridge you won’t drink it at home! So simple!! A single can of soda can have as much 13 teaspoons of sugar (that’s about 40 grams!!!!)! Instead, get your family used to water with orange, lime and lemon slices (ok, maybe a bit extreme if you’re used to soda) OR watered down juice (start with 2/3 juice 1/3 water, then after a week or so switch to ½ juice and ½ water).
- Start using all whole grain products. Save white bread, white pasta and sugary cereals (made without grains) for special occasions. Even if you are buying the “white wheat bread” make sure you read the ingredients. It has to say whole wheat flour not just wheat flour. If it just reads “wheat flour” you are getting de-germinated wheat, which is lacking in fiber and bran and many nutrients you get from the outside capsule of wheat. Food companies have come a long way with the flavor and texture of their wheat products. So, start using whole wheat products and your family will get used to that being the flavor and texture of what breads, pastas and cereals should taste like! Trust me, when you eat pasta out at a restaurant it will be a nice treat J
- You must eat breakfast. I know many people aren’t hungry in the morning, but even just starting your day with a banana or piece of whole wheat toast will help jump start your body’s metabolism. It has been proven that people who eat breakfast burn more calories and lose weight faster than those who don't have breakfast! Studies have also shown children can focus more and perform better in school when they have breakfast. Same can go with concentration for adults in the workplace! So make it a priority to have breakfast- whole grain cereals (look for those with more than 5 grams of fiber), oatmeal, fresh fruit, piece of whole wheat toast, greek yogurt (or any natural yogurt, none of that low-calorie artificially sweetened stuff) and scrambled omega-3 eggs are just a few suggestions to start your day!
Hopefully these few tips will help you on the road to a healthier 2010 (look for another entry soon about healthy holiday appetizers that don’t taste like cardboard…..)
Happy Black Friday, hopefully everyone’s gotten some great deals!!