Monthly Archives: November 2008

Diabetes and Nutrition

Most people understand that good nutrition is absolutely essential for managing diabetes. Now we also know that exercise combined with eating plenty of fresh or frozen vegetables, whole grains, and low glycemic fruits can either minimize or reverse type 2 diabetes. Those who are prediabetic may be able to avoid the disease altogether.  But it takes work.

We are a generation addicted to convenience and we are paying dearly for that convenience. We hurry here and hurry there.  We grab  something quick to eat and often skip breakfast altogether. When we do eat we are too hungry or busy to make wise choices.  Fast food places are everywhere.  Many of those are offering healthy choices now but people are so used to their old favorites that they prefer the high fat, high trans-fat foods.  The result: an epidemic of diabetics and people with coronary heart disease.

The answer: plan ahead. Shop the perimeter of your grocery store. Load up on fresh or frozen vegetables and berries.  Use whole grains at least 50% of the time. These contain nutrients and fiber that are stripped away in processing of the white varieties. Choose low fat or lean protein sources.  Reduce your consumption of sweet foods. You can painlessly get to the point where you use no sugar at all.  Make your changes gradual and you are more likely to stick with it. Make sure that your diet is balanced and varied. A very colorful salad or vegetable plate means that you have more nutrition.

Then there is that dreaded word….exercise.  We may not like it but it is a fact of life. If you get sufficient exercise you will be healthier and more fit. According to Dr Agatston, the famed cardiologist who is also the creator of the South Beach Diet: …” interval training, where you put in some high-intensity exercise, causes muscle changes that allow people with diabetes to handle sugar and insulin more efficiently…”

If you do no exercise then the muscles will get weaker and you will gradually become less fit making you more vulnerable to the effects of aging.  Most people will find that there is something that they can do even with joint or other health problems. The point is to be as active as you can be.  Always check with your physician first and follow his advice.

So, planning ahead, making preparations, and exercise may disrupt our convenience, but we will be so much better off for it….don’t you think it is worth it?