8/6/2013 10:32:00 AM Guest column: A change in your diet can have a positive effect on your health
Janine Rotter Nutrition Specialist
The diet that most Americans are on today is the Standard American Diet (SAD). The diet is full of processed, refined and sugar-filled foods, which can make you and your family overweight and unhealthy. These foods are the leading cause of health problems in America. Unfortunately, there is a long list of health issues that are caused by the SAD diet.
Do you have family with high blood pressure or high cholesterol? Have any of your family members had a stroke? Do they suffer from obesity or Type 2 diabetes? These health issues are on the rise in adults and in our children. When you combine a high carbohydrate/sugar diet with being overly fat with a non-active lifestyle, you are at risk for these health issues.
Along with those health issues, some people are also at risk for uncontrolled blood sugar and Type 2 diabetes. Eighty percent of those diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes are overly fat or obese. According to data from the Diabetes Prevention Program, lifestyle interventions are even more powerful than medication when it comes to Type 2 diabetes treatments. That's correct:lifestyle interventions are even more powerful than medication! If you eat right, there is hope. With exercise and lifestyle changes, one can recover from Type 2 diabetes and overcome other health issues.
What can we do? We need to educate and teach our children proper nutrition at a young age, so that eating healthy becomes a habit. This is our job as parents, aunts, uncles, family and friends. Stop the childhood obesity epidemic that is leading to childhood diseases such as diabetes and even strokes.
You may be hearing on the news that there has been a decline in deaths from cardiovascular disease, also known as CVD. This is not due to changes in lifestyle, such as diet and exercise. This is because of improvements in the medical care and treatment and the use of statin drugs. What they don't tell you is, as a result, this disease is not improving. We are not getting healthier; we are just developing better ways to deal with the problems associated with CVD, such as heart attacks and strokes. This is unfortunate. We are only masking the problems. We are not truly preventing them with proven, preventable measures and alterations in our diet, with exercise, and with lifestyle changes. I am here to tell you that you can reduce your risk of getting CVD and you can reverse its deadly effects.
Wouldn't it be nice to go to the doctor and be told that while we may have high cholesterol, Type 2 diabetes or high blood pressure, simply changing the foods we eat could reverse these issues? Instead of writing a prescription for statin drugs, the doctor wrote us a meal plan to follow. What if I told you this is possible, that you can change your health by the way you eat? Would you change it?