Food as medicine to prevent diabetes and chronic disease
Eating the right food and taking the time to enjoy it can improve your health
The power of food is unbelievable.
The vitamins, nutrients, minerals and fiber in the foods we eat help fuel our bodies and keep us healthy. But just like burning the wrong fuel in your car will have negative consequences, poor diet and lifestyle choices can negatively impact your health.
You can improve your health by consistently choosing nutritious foods over less healthy options that are full of fat, sugar and preservatives. A balanced diet of colorful fruits and vegetables, whole grains and low-fat dairy products will help manage your weight, as well as your risk for diabetes and other related chronic health diseases.
Type II diabetes develops when the body does not make enough insulin, does not use insulin effectively, or both. Consuming excessive processed, sugary foods, combined with lack of exercise and poor lifestyle choices increases risk of diabetes. Uncontrolled diabetes can cause damage to your eyes and kidneys, and even lead to heart disease or stroke.
Diabetes is a growing concern for doctors everywhere as more patients, young and old, are diagnosed with the chronic disease, says Dr. Lee Bertheau, a diabetologist at Adventist Health Portlands Diabetes and Endocrine Center. Improving your diet and getting regular exercise is the best combination to prevent diabetes or limit its effects if youve already been diagnosed.
Approximately 287,000 adult Oregonians have been diagnosed with diabetes, and its estimated that another 100,000 dont know they have the disease. The Oregon Health Authority also estimates that more than one million adults in the state may have prediabetes.
The number one cause for Type II diabetes is obesity. Research has shown that 80-90 percent of Type II diabetes cases are caused by obesity.
This November for National Diabetes Awareness Month, Adventist Health is encouraging Oregonians to make a few changes to help maintain or prevent diabetes through improved food choices and weight management.
Eating nutrient dense, real foods and limiting highly processed foods can help prevent diabetes, says Irene Franklin, registered dietitian at Adventist Health Portland. Sticking to a healthy diet can be challenging, especially during the holidays when comfort foods and sugary sweets are always around. But there are tasty alternatives and healthy holiday tips that can help prevent weight gain, diabetes and other diseases.
Franklin and health experts at Adventist Health Portland have a few recommendations for improving your diet this holiday season and preventing unwanted weight gain. Making improvements to diet and lifestyle now can help prevent diabetes later.