by Kathleen Richardson
Type 2 diabetes is a chronic disease all too familiar in our communities and families. It is the 5th leading cause of death in Erie county. African Americans in Erie county have double the hospital admission rates than their white counterparts for Type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is an insidious disease that can lead to loss of vision, kidney disease, nerve damage and is a precursor to heart disease and stroke. We must begin to understand this disease and take the necessary steps to mitigate its negative effects and begin the journey to reverse it.
What can I Do?
1.Adopt a Healthful Mindset: Be prepared to believe that, “given the right conditions the body will heal itself.”
2.Exercise is a great way to better manage Type 2 diabetes. A 20-30-minute daily walk can go a long way.
3.Weight Loss Obesity is the number one risk factor for Type 2 diabetes.
4.Eat a healthful diet
The standard American diet which is the meat-sweet diet is wreaking havoc on our bodies. Gradually switching to a plant based diet that is high in fiber and low in fat will aid the pancreas, liver and kidneys in performing its functions more efficiently. If you are diabetic eating healthful also means eating 5-6 small meals every 2-3 hours. Remember, “You cannot change your destination overnight, but you can change your direction overnight.” Taking it one day and one meal at a time is all it takes!
Eat a variety of fruit
•Eat more fresh and frozen fruit and less canned fruit and fruit juices
•Eat more dark green veggies like broccoli, spinach and other dark leafy greens
•Eat more orange vegetables like carrots and sweet potatoes
•Eat more dry beans like black beans and red beans
•Eat a variety of whole Grains like wheat, rye, barley, quinoa, and brown rice
•Homemade snacks that satisfy the sweet tooth
•Fried and fast foods
•Frozen meals (high in sodium)
•Processed meats (hot dogs, bacon, sausage, lunch meat)
•Packaged cakes, cookies, pies, candy
(If you do eat fried and fast foods and processed meat don’t do it too often)