Preventing and Treating Type II Diabetes with Proper Nutrition
There’s a wealth of information about treating and preventing late onset diabetes, a.k.a. insulin absorption problems or insulin resistance. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), in 2012, 29.1 million Americans had diabetes and 8.1 million of them had not yet been diagnosed. That’s 9.3% of the population and the number is growing with the emergence of higher rates of Type II diabetes among children. Once a disease for the elderly, now some 208,000 people under the age of 20 have been diagnosed, and this is pretty horrifying. 50 years ago, the incidence of Type II Diabetes was 2.31 million.
Why so many people with Diabetes?
Some may ask why this epidemic of diabetes afflicts the United States, and the answer is twofold; Americans have sedentary lifestyles in both work and leisure settings and American diets have become highly processed. Refining or processing food means using physical or chemical methods to make raw materials into edible foodstuffs, often full of simple sugars which are quickly absorbed into the bloodstream, elevating blood glucose levels. This causes the pancreas to release more insulin to regulate the body. Eventually, so much insulin floods the system that the body turns off the insulin receptors in the cells, thinking something is grievously wrong and the body is in danger. And it is, but the answer is fairly simple.
The Standard American Diet (SAD...get it??), includes fast foods, refined breakfast cereals, candies, snack bars, and chips of all kinds to name but a few offenders. An easy way to determine whether a food is healthy or not is to ask oneself whether it came off a tree or a bush or out of the ground or whether it was manufactured and packaged to last weeks, months, or years without spoiling.
A common objection people have to eating more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and higher quality meats is the expense. It’s true. It can be more expensive to buy a bag of apples than a bag of potato chips. Another question for people to consider is whether they want to pay now or later. Eating better now is more expensive up front, but if one doesn’t, health issues like Type II diabetes will develop, and the medical costs of treating these illnesses are far higher than the cost of whole foods. There’s another cost associated that isn’t monetary: the cost to the body. The damage done by a poor diet has already happened. If the result is something serious like a limb amputation or loss of sight due to uncontrolled blood glucose levels, the damage isn’t reversible.
Here are a few ways to reduce the cost of and increase access to whole foods:
- Farmer’s Markets
Most cities now have a variety of farmer’s markets that offer fresh produce to people during the growing seasons. Most growers travel less than 50 miles to a market so the food is fresh and recently picked.
- Community Supported Agriculture (CSA)
A CSA is an arrangement where a local farmer sells shares to local people. It usually involves paying a set amount and then the farmer supplies a weekly “box” of produce to those who have purchased a share. The box might be delivered directly or picked up at an agreed-upon communal drop-off location.. Many local Co-Ops serve as meeting places for exchanges between CSA farmers and shareholders.
- Plant a Garden
It’s possible to plant many common herbs for cooking, even if someone lives in an apartment. Many stores like The Home Depot or a local co-op sell the items needed to start a garden.
Hippocrates said, “Let thy food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” Sage advice indeed!
Dr. Jenna Zigler
Other Dry Eye articles by Dr. Zigler: 4 Tips to Stop Waking Up With Dry, Painful Eyes; Which Antidepressants Cause Dry Eye; Fish Oil for Fighting Dry Eye Inflammation; and What Not To Eat If You Have Dry Eye
by Dr. Jenna Zigler | Posted in 20/20 Vision, 3 simple ways, community support agriculture, cost for food, cost for fresh food, cost management, cost of whole foods, csa, diabetes, Dr. Jenna Zigler, Dr. Travis Zigler, eye health, Eye Love Blog, eye love recipe, Eye Love supplements, farmer's market, fruits, fruits and veggies, garden, healthy eye, healthy food, healthy weight, heart health, high blood pressure, immune system, plant a garden, prevent type II Diabetes, prevention and treatment, proper nutrition, treat diabetes, uncontrolled blood glucose, vegetables and whole foods | |
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