Since an estimated 300,000 deaths each year are associated with poor nutrition, obesity and the related illnesses of diabetes, heart disease, stroke and cancer, it should come as no surprise that your best defense is a healthy diet.
According to WebMD.com, "Healthy eating is one of the best things you can do to prevent health problems, such as heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis and some types of cancer."
Type 2 diabetes, the most common form of diabetes, can be prevented or delayed if you maintain a healthy body weight and fit in regular fitness. As simple as it sounds, a balanced diet and regular exercise have proven effective for many people suffering from diabetes.
The American Diabetes Association notes, “The diabetes epidemic looms large over our youth as one in three American children faces a life with diabetes if current trends continue. And while obesity and being overweight are major risk factors for type 2 diabetes, the good news is that studies have shown that eating a healthy diet can help prevent or delay type 2 diabetes.”
Not sure of how to follow a healthy diet? If you have the time, you can research it online or at the library, then do the meal planning, food shopping and cooking for you and maybe your family too.
Or you can opt for a balanced meal program that is crafted to your specifications and delivered to your door. We highly recommend the Diet-to-Go low-fat or vegetarian meal plan for anyone worried about their health. Click here to find out why.
The foods that are recommended for a diabetes diet are just as good for those without diabetes. This means no separate meals for you and your family.
For people with diabetes, the total carbs must be monitored carefully. But cutting down on carbs has proven essential even for people not suffering diabetes.
According to MayoClinic.com, "Having diabetes doesn't mean that you have to start eating special foods or follow a complicated diabetes diet plan. For most people, a diabetes diet simply translates into eating a variety of foods in moderate amounts and sticking to regular mealtimes."
Now, direct from Diabetes.org, here are a few healthy eating tips from the American Diabetes Association:
•Eat lots of vegetables and fruits. Try picking from the rainbow of colors available to maximize variety.
•Eat non-starchy vegetables such as spinach, carrots, broccoli or green beans with meals.
•Choose whole grain foods over processed grain products. Try brown rice with your stir fry or whole wheat spaghetti with your favorite pasta sauce.
•Include dried beans (like kidney or pinto beans) and lentils in your meals.
•Include fish in your meals 2-3 times a week.
•Choose lean meats like cuts of beef and pork that end in "loin" such as pork loin and sirloin. Remove the skin from chicken and turkey.
•Choose non-fat dairy such as skim milk, non-fat yogurt and non-fat cheese.
•Choose water and calorie-free "diet" drinks instead of regular soda, fruit punch, sweet tea and other sugar-sweetened drinks.
•Choose liquid oils for cooking instead of solid fats that can be high in saturated and trans fats. Remember that fats are high in calories. If you're trying to lose weight, watch your portion sizes of added fats.
•Cut back on high-calorie snack foods and desserts like chips, cookies, cakes, and full-fat ice cream.
•Eating too much of even healthful foods can lead to weight gain. Watch your portion sizes.
John McGran has been a writer/editor for about as long as he's been battling his weight. During his 25-year career, John has written for several newspapers, tabloids and Web sites. You may recognize his name and style from the seven years he spent writing a Worst of the Worst Foods column as Mr. Bad Food. If you have any topics you'd like John to tackle, feel free to write him at firstname.lastname@example.org