December 15, 2009
By Julian Whitaker, M.D., Lifescript Alternative Medicine Expert
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health, American Indian and Alaska Native adults are 2.3 times as likely as white adults to be diagnosed with diabetes. The disease is the fourth leading cause of death for American Indians and Alaska Natives, affecting about 16% of the population. Information about diabetes from Tanka friend Lifescript runs every other week in our blog, Walking the Way of Wellness.
If you've just been diagnosed with diabetes, your head is probably swimming with information about the lifestyle changes you'll need to make. That's understandable. Diabetes is a serious condition, and successfully managing it - and even reversing it - requires significant modifications to the way you live.
First, try to squeeze in at least 30-45 minutes of vigorous exercise four or more days a week. Second, alter your diet in a way that promotes healthy blood sugar levels. To keep you on the right track as you adjust your habits, follow these simple do's and don'ts.
- Eat plenty of vegetables and legumes (beans)
- Eat lean protein, such as fish, poultry, or tofu
- Eat healthful fats, which can be found in cold-water fish, raw nuts and seeds, and extra-virgin olive oil
- Eat modest amounts of fruit (one to two servings per day)
- Eat too many processed foods
- Eat a lot of red meat (limit to one serving per week)
- Eat carbohydrate-dense, starchy foods such as pasta, cereals, and other grain-based foods
- Use sugar or artificial sweeteners to enhance the flavor of food, or consume products that contain these ingredients
I also recommend taking a brisk 10-minute walk after meals. This helps clear glucose out of the bloodstream and keeps blood sugar at a healthy level.
For more from Dr. Whitaker on diabetes control: LifeScript
To follow LifeScript on Twitter: @LifeScript
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