It’s November – which means Thanksgiving…and National Diabetes Month.
Health statistics rarely make you take pause, but try this one on for size:
37% of the US population has diabetes or prediabetes.
Think about that: more than 1/3 of American citizens are walking around with compromised blood sugar control. While that might not sound like such a bad thing at first, down the road, diabetes becomes a nasty condition that ravages the entire body.
Uncontrolled diabetes is a leading cause of many complications, including kidney disease, blindness, amputation, neuropathy, stroke, and high blood pressure…not to mention it is #7 on the list of top 10 killers of Americans.
On top of all of that depressing news, the American Diabetes Association now estimates the cost of diagnosed diabetes to the country is $245 billion.
So what can be done to stop this trainwreck called diabetes? Well for starters, you can cook your way out of the abyss.
That’s right – cooking more of your own foods at home (as opposed to eating out or eating packaged and processed junk) can now be considered a primary diabetes prevention tool.
How does that work?
- Take everyone in the US with diabetes…
- Consider that 90-95% of those people have type 2 diabetes….
- Now take everyone with type 2 diabetes….
- And know that more than 85% of those people are overweight or obese
As a Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator, I see firsthand that diabetes prevention is all about excess weight prevention. And how can you prevent unwanted weight gain?
Cook at home more.
This year’s American Diabetes Month theme is “America Gets Cooking to Stop Diabetes” – an approach that acknowledges the power of at home food preparation and “empowers all Americans to cook nutritious and delicious food, and be more active”.
Cooking food more often at home is a great way to control calories, increase fiber, and include more fruits and vegetables in your meals. You are never going to add as much butter to your meals as that restaurant chef will!
As we head into the holidays, this year do your part to reduce diabetes risk by making restaurant trips more of a “sometimes” thing and home-cooked meals your go-to game.