Did you know that 30% of MANNA clients have diabetes, a chronic disease that causes elevated blood glucose levels and can lead to life-threatening complications over time? The goal of American Diabetes month is to raise awareness and understanding of diabetes, its consequences, management and prevention. In the United States, it is estimated that 26 million children and adults are living with diabetes and 79 million more are at risk for developing diabetes. Recent estimates project that as many as one in three American adults will have diabetes in 2050 unless steps are taken.
Symptoms of diabetes can include frequent urination, feeling very thirsty or hungry – even though you are eating, extreme fatigue, blurry vision, cuts or bruises that are slow to heal, and tingling, pain, or numbness in the hands and feet. Due to the fact that these symptoms mirror many other types of disease side effects, diabetes can easily go without being diagnosed making it a “hidden disease.” In order to identify and properly diagnose diabetes you must know and understand the risk factors, which include family history of diabetes, being overweight, age and race, having pre-diabetes, not exercising regularly, high blood pressure, low HDL and/or high levels of triglycerides, and a history of gestational diabetes.
If you are at risk, MANNA suggests focusing on the risk factors that you can change. For example, you can manage and sometimes prevent diabetes by eating a healthy diet and exercising. Maintain a healthy weight, stay physically active and by get regular physicals.
At MANNA one of the most common dietary modifications that we give our clients is our diabetic, heart healthy menu. Our diabetic meals are carbohydrate-controlled and we prepare diabetic desserts with sucralose-based artificial sweeteners like Splenda. We strive to keep all MANNA desserts fruit and vegetable-based.
For more information, visit http://www.diabetes.org/in-my-community/programs/american-diabetes-month/
Halloween is the time of the year that you can have your candy and eat it too! But with obesity rates rising and other health issues related to excess sugar and process foods, these sweet treats can do nightmares to your body. According to Donna Arnett, Ph.D, chair of the Department of Epidemiology at the University of Alabama-Birmingham’s School of Public Health, the average child accumulates 3,500-7,000 calories worth of treats on Halloween night.
Here at MANNA, we want you to have your fun so here are five tips for a healthy Halloween:
- Eat before you go Trick or Treating. Have a healthy meal before getting dressed up and hitting the streets – this will reduce the amount of candy you eat along your travels.
- Get moving! Pick neighborhoods that are easily walkable – this way your kids are adding in exercise with their fun.
- Keep your favorites and hide the rest. Moderation is key to all things in life. Either agree with the amount of candy they can have per day from their stash or keep their favorites and get rid of the rest by donating them to Operation Gratitude as part of a Halloween Candy Buy-Back program that sends care packages to US troops overseas.
- Hand out non-sugar foods such as granola bars, crackers, pretzels or trail mix.
- When you have the option… go for the dark chocolate option!
Halloween is the beginning of the holiday season – so make sure it is a healthy start!
When Valarie Maddox was diagnosed with breast cancer last year, her two young daughters needed MANNA’s support as well. Valarie avowed, “The meals are great because I am a single mother and I live with my two daughters. To see the strain on my daughters and their worry because I was always the cook in my house, the MANNA meals helped to take the pressure off of them knowing I was taken care of.”
Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women worldwide and the incidence continues to rise steadily with over 1 million new cases and almost half a million deaths annually. Currently the direct cause of breast cancer is not known; education, awareness and early detection remain as the key components to combating this disease. October marks National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, when people across the world increase awareness of the disease and fundraise to support research in search of a cure.
In 2007 MANNA partnered with the Susan G. Komen Philadelphia organization to provide medically-appropriate meals to hundreds of women and families battling breast cancer. This partnership ensured access to nutritious meals early in their treatment, increasing their chances of survival. Since 2007, MANNA has nourished back to health over 500 individuals diagnosed with breast cancer.
“MANNA has helped me so much with their meal program. When I was too tired to cook I was able to heat up a meal which helped me a lot. I felt like if I didn’t have MANNA, my nutrition would not have been as good,” MANNA client Chanel Royster noted.
Charlene Callicut, a current MANNA client agreed, “MANNA has provided me a lot of support since day one. It really helped me with my eating and providing me with nutritious food. The type of food that they are sending me is good food, and it tastes good too.”
For more information on ways that you can become involved with National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, go to www.komenphiladelphia.org.