Each year, 1.4 million Americans are diagnosed with diabetes making it the 7th leading cause of death, which is more deadly than AIDS and breast cancer combined. In FY 2016, approximately 30% of the MANNA client population had diabetes as either a primary or coexisting condition making it one of the most common chronic illnesses served. It is MANNA’s mission to help lessen the comorbidities and complications associated with diabetes that can become severe by providing nutrition counseling and our diabetic diet modification through our home-delivered meals service. Many of the complications of diabetes are common and can cause serious, long-term consequences including: hypoglycemia, hypertension, dyslipidemia, cardiovascular disease (death rates are 1.7 times higher with diabetes), heart attack (1.8 higher hospitalization rate with diabetes), stroke (1.5 higher hospitalization rate with diabetes), blindness, kidney disease (diabetes is the primary cause of kidney failure in 44% of all new cases) and amputations (73,000 in 2010 alone, accounting for 60% of all non-traumatic lower-limb amputations).
By balancing the food you eat, taking medications, and incorporating daily exercise you can lower your risk and control the disorder leading to a happy, healthy life. Eating healthy is the key to maintaining weight and preventing the onset of diabetes. But where should you start? Make small steps and goals to achieve a healthier lifestyle over time. Start by picking a few goals listed below every month and once you have succeeded try a few more:
- Make half your plate full of a variety of fruits and vegetables
- Be physically active for 30 minutes a day like walking, jogging, or biking.
- Decrease the amount of sodium in your diet by removing the salt shaker from the table, prepackaged foods, and/or rinsing all canned items.
- Buy whole grain products like brown rice and whole wheat pastas and breads
- Incorporate leaner protein options like chicken and turkey in your meals
- Try starting every meal with a salad
- Avoid smoking and excessive alcohol use
- Relieve the everyday stress that may buildup
- Become informed on medications that can raise your blood sugar
- Check your blood sugars routinely or your A1C monthly
American Diabetes Association Step Out Walk to Stop Diabetes
Stay healthy and make a difference in your community by teaming up against diabetes and joining MANNA’s team on November 5, 2016 for the Step Out Walk to Stop Diabetes event. It can be as easy as donating toward the MANNA team or you can join them and participate in the 5K walk or run! Register here.