November: Diabetes Awareness
Many people in the United States are diagnosed with Diabetes, 30 million people to be more specific. According to Diabetes.org this accounts for 10 percent of our population. Many people are also diagnosed with pre diabetes, which is a condition that if left untreated, will turn into a diabetes within 5 to 10 years. There are things that you can do to avoid this diagnosis, however, and it includes adding exercise to your lifestyle and also eating a diet filled with fruits and vegetables. Obesity is a key risk factor for type 2 diabetes, and by eating a Mediterranean diet, high in vegetable fats ( olive oil, nuts, avocado), will help maintain a healthy weight, versus the high processed foods.
Making some changes such as using zucchini noodles instead of sphagetti, using whole wheat flour and rice in place of white, and using more herbs and spices in place of sugar can all make a tremendous difference in cutting back on unwanted carbohydrates.
As we are coming into the colder, darker months of winter we tend to turn to comfort food. This is still an option if you suffer with diabetes type 2 or pre diabetes, as long as you cut back from the full fat cheeses and use reduced fat options, or use less in the recipes by cutting down by 1/3 of the desired amount. Substitute strong cheeses such as parmesan to get away with less in your recipe. Greek yogurt works wonderfully in place of sour cream and just by using the low sodium options for broth and soup is beneficial.
Cinnamon has recently shown in studies to help lower blood sugar levels, LDL ( bad cholesterol), and total cholesterol levels. Sprinkle it on everything from salads to peanut butter toast. Just by adding 1/2 teaspoon a day can make a difference.
Increasing exercise is so important to keep us healthy, and just as important as your diet. Exercise reduces the sugar in your blood, which helps control your blood sugar levels. Know your blood glucose levels before taking a walk or taking a yoga class, as this will vary between the type of diabetes you have and the best time of day to exercise. Getting outside for as little as 30 minutes a day makes such a difference and adding some weight bearing exercise ( check with your Doctor) is a great addition to build strong muscle mass. Yoga is another valuable option, offering strengthening your flexibility, balance and managing stress.
The following is a great recipe for Eggnog, without the sugar, give it a try! Cheers!
2 large Egg Yolk
1/2 tsp Stevia ext
1/4 tsp Salt
4 cups Unsweetened Almond Milk
2 1/2 tsp Vanilla Ext, divided
1 tsp Nutmeg
1/2 cup Whipping Cream ( or dairy free coconut whipped cream)
1/2 tsp Stevia ext
Add Rum, Whiskey, or Brandy if desired
Whisk together almond milk, eggs, sweetener and salt in saucepan. Cook over low heat until thickened, stirring constantly.Stir in 2 tsp vanilla and nutmeg. Cover and chill for at least 2-3 hours.
Before serving whip cream with 1/2 tsp vanilla and stevia. Add liquor if desired. Sprinkle top with nutmeg. Enjoy!