By Mary Tucker

Research shows that diabetes reached epidemic status in this country affecting both children and adults. One in every four hundred to six hundred children has diabetes. One in every four hundred to six hundred overweight children has pre-diabetes. Over 10% of adults age twenty and older have diabetes and of adults over sixty 23.1% have the disease. A diabetic may have high blood pressure, heart disease, kidney disease, nerve damage and vision problems, all serious conditions. Diabetes seems to be genetic but can be contracted by anyone. The onset of Type II Diabetes can be delayed or prevented by maintaining a healthy lifestyle, adopting a nutritious diet, staying at your recommended weight, and increasing physical activity. With these positive changes you can stay healthy longer and reduce diabetes risk.

Good health habits should be taught at the earliest age possible. Parents should make sure that a child’s diet is based on the recommended food triangle with more vegetables, fruit, and grains; substitute poultry, fish, and pork for much of the beef. Make sure that your children get enough exercise to keep weight down.

Calories consumed govern weight. Outlined is a list of one-minute tricks that along with exercise can help cut calories.

  1. Combine 4 oz. plain or sparkling water with 4 oz. fruit juice; cuts 85 calories a day.
  2. Household chores that involve moving around, such as watering plants, dusting, walking while on phone, preparing meals and so on can cut over 100 calories.
  3. Study calories in snacks; a bottle of juice or a packet of crackers may have more calories than a candy bar.
  4. Drink green tea before taking a walk. Antioxidants in the tea increase calories burned.
  5. Pack a lunch. Eating out may increase your calorie intake by 300 calories a day.
  6. Use olive oil in place of butter and dip bread. “Dippers” consumed 52 fewer calories.
  7. Sprinkle ground flax seed on breakfast foods. This can help curb the appetite, enabling you to have smaller portions during the day.
  8. Schedule a blood test. An underactive thyroid can slow down metabolism.
  9. Drink more water. If you buy water, buy the bigger bottle so you’ll drink more of this “good for you stuff”.
  10. Eat chunky salads. Chop carrots, celery, zucchini and other desired vegetables instead of shredding. It takes more chewing to eat the bigger pieces. You end up eating less at the main course.

If you feel that you can’t do all of these each day, start with 2 or 3 and work your way up gradually. The recipe on page 5 uses vegetable, fruit and nuts, all recommended for a healthy diet. ~