Choosing a healthy diet
I am not sure what a "healthy" diet is but I think I am switching to a plant based diet. What are your thoughts and would it benefit someone with diabetes?
If you search "health" on your computer, you will find about two billion results as health information is endemic and can be found everywhere you look.
Just look at everything you see everyday - billboards, magazines, television, newsletters, news and books. One would assume with all the interest in health, everyone would be in better health.
Unfortunately, that is not the case, at least in the United States. Overall, between 1996 and 2005, the number of Americans, of all ages who suffer from three or more chronic diseases has increased by 86 percent, according to T. Colin Campbell, PhD, and Caldwell B. Esselstyn, M.D, co-authors of "Forks Over Knives."
The American diet, consists primarily of fats, sugars, dairy, carbohydrates, processed/junk foods, too much caffeine and not enough water.
A healthy, plant-based diet is simple, effective and consists of eating food that comes from unrefined plants that have remained intact.
Eating a well-balanced plant based diet will provide the body with the correct calories, proteins, vitamins and minerals without having to weigh, measure or count calories.
No doubt, simple, but does require discipline in giving up so much food we find we are addicted to.
To be more specific, a plant based diet is based on eating fruits, vegetables, tubers, gluten free whole grains, nuts and legumes and minimal amounts of red meat, dairy and eggs.
Tubers include sweet potatoes, which are a great complex carbohydrate, as well as quinoa, which is a superb whole grain.
Legumes include chickpeas, black beans, kidney beans and lima beans. For a more detailed diet, you may consider watching the movie "Forks over Knives "or reading the book.
And as I always recommend, be sure to let your physician know your decision to alter your diet.
Just as a footnote; according to the International Diabetes Federation, roughly 387 million people are living with diabetes and that number is expected to soar to nearly 600 million by 2035. Their research suggests a plant-based diet can help ward off diabetes. Good luck and congrats for taking care of your health.
Thought for the week: Never sacrifice who you are just because someone has a problem with it.
Phylis B. Canion is a doctor of naturopathic medicine and is a certified nutritional consultant; email her at firstname.lastname@example.org. This column is for nutritional information only and is not intended to treat, diagnose or cure.