The American Diabetes Association Fast Facts: Data and Statistics About Diabetes reports the disturbing news that if current trends continue, by 2050, 1 in 3 American adults will have diabetes. 90-95% of those diagnoses are for Type 2 diabetes, and 85.2% of people with Type 2 diabetes are overweight or obese. Even more disturbing, diabetes is affecting younger and younger people at higher rates. This fact coexists with the fact that obesity is on the increase in all segments of the population, including children.
Excess weight is a concern because of its association with diabetes, but even some who are not carrying extra weight develop diabetes as a result of a faulty diet. Furthermore, excess weight with or without diabetes places stress on your skeletal frame, in particular your spine. Research links diabetes and other chronic diseases, including stroke, heart disease, kidney failure, some cancers, retinopathy and neuropathy. It can also lead to hearing loss or non-traumatic limb amputations.
The sad yet hopeful fact is that Type 2 diabetes is a preventable disease. A healthy diet can both prevent and be a crucial element in managing diabetes. We now know that many features of our Standard American Diet (S.A.D.) and products of the food industry that inundate us contribute significantly to the diabetes and obesity statistics. So what is a healthy, anti-diabetes diet?
- Avoid or strictly limit all added sugars and sweeteners, including “natural” sugar substitutes. Read labels carefully. There are at least 57 names for sugar added to food products, used by manufacturers to conceal those additives.
- Fiber helps regulate blood sugar. Eat real food with all its fiber. Choose whole fruit and water over fruit juices, even juices without added sugar. Choose foods made with whole grains and seeds, and avoid foods made with highly processed or denatured flours, especially white flour.
- Emphasize plant foods in your diet, making at least 50-60% of your diet vegetables and fruit, more of the former than the latter. Among vegetables, keep an eye on nutrient dense items, particularly greens.
- Your protein requirement is 20% of your diet. Keep your focus on health and on getting a colorful variety of veggies and fruits, grains, nuts, legumes and seeds. If you eat a healthy diet and get enough calories from it, you will get enough protein with or without animal products. If you do include animal products in your diet, choose free-range, cage-free and organic.
- Fats also help regulate blood sugar, and we now know they are not the villains we thought they were with regard to weight gain or heart disease. Choose healthy fats naturally present in avocados or soybeans or in the meat from sustainably farmed animals. For added fats, use olive oil, avocado oil or canola oil. Even a modest amount of saturated fat from butter is fine and supplies essential fatty acids.
At Lake Pointe Chiropractic and Wellness, we work with you as a whole person, considering each aspect of your health in relation to the rest. A subluxation in one part of your spine causes inflammation and pain in another part of your body. In turn, excess weight and diabetic complications can lead to subluxations.
For more information about weight management, managing diabetes or how to construct a healthy diet that will help you avoid weight gain and diabetes, please contact us.