>Unsettling trend

>A friend just shared this video with a rather troubling statistic about the increase in people with diabetes: 

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21134540/vp/39804237#39804237

The health-care costs are huge because there are so many serious side effects to the disease.  How do you avoid becoming diabetic yourself?  Eat reasonable portions of healthy foods, maintain a healthy weight, and add some exercise to each day.  Hmmm, where have we all heard that advice before?

I’ve read quite a bit about nutrition since learning of my gluten sensitivity a few years ago.  One interesting suggestion that stuck with me was to only eat things that your great-grandparents would have recognized as food.  That would eliminate a gigantic, deep-fried-and-then-loaded-with-cheese plateful of nachos, for instance.  And Pop-Tarts.  And a lot of other stuff that you already know is not doing your body any favors.  Think of it as Not Actually Food.

Another tip was to eat foods that you can recognize the “parts” of just by looking.  An apple, for example, is made of . . . apple.  Grilled chicken is made out of . . . chicken.  And so on.  Seriously, can you tell me (without looking at the label!) exactly what ingredients are in that bag of Cheetos?  If you don’t know what any of that stuff is and can’t even pronouce half of the list, maybe it is Not Actually Food.

Besides keeping your weight down, exercise lets your body burn off carbohydrates as fuel.  Then your body does not have to send out so much insulin to clear the sugar out of your blood . . . and, by the way, the body does not toss all the sugar into the bio “trash bin” so you can just excrete it.  Oh, no.  It stores the extra glucose as FAT.  Uh oh.  Most of us do not need to add to our existing fat stores.  I know I certainly don’t!

How do you get more exercise into your day?   Of course, I have a couple of thoughts about that : ) 

  –  Walk around the block.  It’s raining/snowing/too hot/too cold?  Walk up and down the length of the mall a few times before you start actually shopping.  Walk a couple of laps around the outside aisles of the supermarket, Costco, Sam’s Club, then grab a cart and get what you came for.  If you eat your lunch at work, chow down and then walk for 15 minutes around your building.  Keep a pair of walking shoes under your desk or in your locker.  Come on, you’re in these places a few times a week anyway – take 15 minutes and get a little walking in.  Make this a new habit. 

  –  Do some weight training.  If you have small children, you’re already doing weight training every time you pick one of the kids up.  Once the kids get too big to carry, improvise!  Pick up someone else’s kids!  (Make sure it’s someone you know won’t mind!)  Push-ups are weight training.  You did these in the 7th grade, so you already know how.  Fill a couple of empty water bottles with sand to use as hand weights to get started.  Check a book out of the library about how to lift – something with lots of pictures.  Work out with a friend or work out near a mirror to make sure your form is good.  If budget allows, spend 30 minutes with the trainer at the gym – but know that there are a lot of things you can do for little or no cost.

So, notes for this post:  Don’t eat the stuff that is Not Actually Food.  And, exercise is your best friend.  You are far too special to let yourself develop the diseases of a poor lifestyle.  Let’s see your happy, fit body get too small for the clothes you’re currently wearing!  More to follow –

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