Obesity and Type 2 Diabetes are both major health concerns in America today. They affect not only millions across the U.S., but also across the globe. While advances in education and medicine have been made, there is still much work to be done to help individuals affected by these diseases manage and improve their health long-term.
Part of the process involves understanding nutrition. Good nutrition doesn’t fix obesity and diabetes, but it can help. It’s still very important. Below we’ll look at some basic nutrition facts that relate to both diseases and discuss practical ways you can use food to gain health.
Diabetes and Obesity: A Closer Look
Diabetes is a metabolic disease where the body can’t produce any, or enough, insulin. In some cases, the body can’t use insulin that is already produced. This results in higher blood glucose levels which can cause health issues like heart disease, kidney damage or eye problems. More than 29 million people have diabetes, according to a 2014 report from the Centers for Disease Control. However, this doesn’t include those who have yet to be diagnosed.
Obesity is a disease marked by excess fat that places strain on the body. This can result in problems like Type 2 Diabetes, hypertension, heart disease and others. More than 35 percent of adult Americans are considered to have obesity, according to the National Institutes of Health. More than 68 percent are considered to have overweight.
What to Know
Diabetes and obesity often go hand in hand. That’s why it’s important to know what factors are in your control that will have a positive impact on your health.
Nutrition and Your Health
Fortunately, some simple lifestyle changes can help. Even something as small as eating at home a few more nights a week can have surprising benefits. Here’s how:
Smaller Portion Sizes
Restaurants often serve portions that are much larger than you need. When you prepare and serve food at home, you have greater control over portion sizes.
Not as Many Extras
When you eat out, you often get more than the meal. You get chips, breads, drinks, cookies, etc. When you eat in, you are generally more aware of what all you are making and eating. You’ll probably save a lot on extra calories.
Less Heavy Carbs
Large portions usually mean carbs and sugars. Both of these can spike your blood sugar, raise your calorie intake and influence weight gain.
Nutrition Tips for Weight and Diabetes
It goes without saying that eating in can have positive effects on your weight and health. However, this can be challenging. Busy schedules, fatigue and stress can tempt you to eat out more often than not. Here are tips to get you going in a healthier direction:
- Invite your family to brainstorm new recipes and ideas for healthy dishes
- Stock-up on staples like spices, veggies, lentils and whole grains
- Plan ahead by making a menu for the next week or next couple of days
- Make enough food at one time to have leftovers you can freeze
- Don’t strive for perfection, only progress
For more information on using nutrition to manage weight and diabetes, CLICK HERE.