The silver lining to being at risk for type 2 diabetes is that you truly CAN control and prevent it by being more mindful about the foods you eat.
This holiday many of us stop thinking about ourselves and our health as much as we ought with all the fun (and stress) of shopping, traveling, entertaining, etc.
How about instead of agonizing about "the perfect gift" for someone else, first try giving yourself a gift by planning ways to manage the stress and focus on healthy eating strategies?
Studies demonstrate a healthy eating lifestyle that includes whole grains, fruits, veggies (all those good nutritious foods doctors go on about for good reason) diminish your chances of developing type 2 diabetes.
But let’s take a closer look at what the experts recommend. For example, proponents for diabetes education at John Hopkins University suggest a 4-pronged approach (from Yahoo!Health):
- Healthy Weight Loss. Healthy Weight Loss, by reducing overall calorie intake, is a straightforward way to help prevent diabetes. But don’t get hung up on what your specific calorie should be; just think about reducing. If you don’t need to lose weight, go on to some of the other strategies.
- Fats. Research shows that people whose diets contain the lowest percentage of calories from fat reduce their risk of developing diabetes the most. (Persons who actually have diabetes must limit saturated fat consumption to 7 percent of total calories.) To prevent diabetes, strive for a daily intake where less than 30 percent of your total calories come from fat and less than 10 percent of total calories from saturated fat. (See diabetes food pyramid image above right.)
- Fiber and whole grains. Aim for 25 grams or more of fiber each day. Fiber is listed on every food label. To help you reach your daily fiber goal, look for foods with more than 5 grams of daily fiber per serving. Choose foods whose list of ingredients contains the words "whole grain" or "whole wheat" as the first ingredient.
- Fruits and vegetables. These foods provide vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that our bodies need. Fruits and vegetables are also fat-free foods, so they’re generally lower in calories than other food choices.
Try our recently posted Mushroom Barley Soup; it’s a healthy soup that helps to prevent type 2 diabetes by providing key minerals, nutrients and fiber. And, for more helpful information about reducing stress, please read Mindfulness During the Holidays: Strategies for Mindful Eating and Healthy Behaviors.
Make the most of the holidays and take care of yourself! You’ll be thankful you did.