It’s American Diabetes Month So Cut the Added Sugar from Your Life

Posted 11/03/2015 | By HealthCorps

A few recent statistics highlight why we need to focus on reducing the risk of diabetes type 2:

• About 30 million children and adults in the U.S. have diabetes.
• One in four Americans does not know they have the diabetes.
• About 86 million Americans have pre-diabetes, with a high risk of developing full -blown diabetes.
• Two in five people are expected to develop diabetes during their lifetime.
• Currently, the U.S. spends $245 million on diabetes yearly.
• Diabetes type 2 is a lifestyle-related disease.
• More people are being diagnosed with the disease because of obesity, greater total dietary intake (larger food portions), a daily sugary drink (and food) habit, and limited daily exercise or movement.

There are a number of risk factors associated with diabetes type 2. Among them:

• Being 45 years of age or older
• Being overweight
• Having a parent with the disease
• Having a sibling with the disease
• Being African-American, Hispanic/Latino, American-Indian, Asian-American, or Pacific-Islander
• Having a history of gestational diabetes during pregnancy or giving birth to baby over 9 pounds in weight
• Not exercising a minimum of three times a week

When you’re diagnosed with diabetes, it’s likely that you’re not producing enough insulin or that the insulin you produce is not working efficiently and is not efficient at processing blood sugar levels. Sugar then begins to build up in your blood stream and when these levels persist, they cause harm at the cellular level. Weight loss, exercise (a minimum of 150 minutes a week), and a diet that limits processed foods and encourages the consumption of whole foods, can help to prevent or delay diabetes type 2.

Just switching from refined and processed foods to simple foods like fruits, vegetables, low fat dairy products and unprocessed whole grains is a good start. Swapping out red meat for mostly skinless white meats, fish and plant proteins is another good swap out. Use healthier oils like olive oil, vegetable oils and nut oils, and consider using pureed fruits in baking to limit refined sugars. Of course, swapping out soda, energy drinks, and juices for water, unsweetened tea and zero-calorie waters flavored with a bit of fruit essence will help you to dramatically cut added sugars from your daily diet. Embracing home cooking can help you to manage ingredients and portion sizes, crucial for weight loss.

You can also take advantage of the National Diabetes Prevention Program, a year-long program that focuses on lifestyle change, or you can ask your doctor or pediatrician for a referral to a dietician or nutritionist who specializes in diabetes prevention and management.

Source: CDC – Managing Diabetes

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