By Nicole Greene, Nutrition Intern at Black River Memorial Hospital
Attendees at the free community Diabetes Fair this Saturday Nov. 7 at Skyline Golf Course will learn more about the essential role of sleep and how mindfulness eating and relaxing movement can make a powerful difference in our lives.
Everyone is welcome to attend, whether they are interested in the prevention or management of diabetes, which continues to be a growing health concern. Diabetes occurs when the body doesn’t produce any (or enough) insulin, which causes elevated blood sugar. Think about glucose or blood sugar as a car and our blood vessels are the highways. Our cells are the parking lots and insulin is like many driveways that get our glucose (cars) into the parking lot (cells). When we have an increased amount of glucose (cars) we don’t have enough insulin (driveways) to get the glucose from the vessels (highways) into the cells (parking lots).
When there becomes an increased amount of glucose in the blood, the vessels get crowded just like the highways. This makes it hard for other nutrients that use the same highway to move as well, causing the body to work harder. This can result in higher blood pressure, which can cause a number of other health complications throughout the body. Some of these issues include high blood pressure, eye complications, skin complications, neuropathy, kidney disease, and diabetic ketoacidosis.
The risk of developing diabetes can be reduced with a combination of physical activity and a well-balanced diet. At least 30 minutes of moderate activity a day besides regular daily activities is recommended. A healthful style of eating is the Mediterranean diet, which emphasizes the consumption of fresh foods with minimal processing and substituting herbs and spices instead of salt. These include fruits and vegetables, fish and poultry, healthy fats, moderate to low-fat dairy, whole grains, and nuts. It also highlights drinking water and avoiding soft drinks and juices.
Fresh fruits: apples, peaches, grapefruit, strawberries, dates, cherries and melons
Fresh vegetables: broccoli, eggplant, lettuce, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, mushrooms, and celery
Fish and Poultry: Chicken, turkey, salmon, shrimp, squid, tilapia, lobster, mackerel, and tuna
Healthy Fats: Canola oil, olive oil (higher in unsaturated fats which help lower cholesterol)
Dairy: Low fat or fat free yogurt, milk, and cheese
Grains: Whole grain wheat, couscous, oats, barley, rice, bulger
Nuts: Walnuts, pecans (Nuts are high in unsaturated fats and contain beneficial omega-3 fatty acids. Because nuts are high in fat content they should be consumed in moderation, only an ounce or two per day.)
Overall Tips to Healthy Eating:
· Enjoy smaller portions of your favorite foods. Some foods may be higher in sugar, you can still enjoy them just try to have smaller portions.
· Reduce amount of sodium or salt in your diet. This includes processed foods and restaurant foods. Try to make more meals at home. Remember to taste before you salt!
· Try sugar free or low sugar treats!
· Limit fat by using less salad dressing, cream cheese, mayonnaise, and cheese.
· Try some Mediterranean meals using the tips providing above!
For more information please attend the Jackson County Diabetes Fair Saturday, November 7 from 8:30am-11:30am at Skyline Golf Course located at 612 N. 11th St., BRF.
Registration begins at 8:30 and there will be presentations on “Looking for Sleep”, “Mindful Eating”, and “Chair Yoga” along with refreshments and free blood sugar testing. Hope to see you there!
Jackson in Action – Healthy Eating. Active Living - is a non-profit healthy living organization based in Jackson County, Wisconsin. For more information visit www.JacksonInAction.org
Photo credit: http://littlebigh.com/mexican-black-bean-salad/