Top 10 things Women need to Know about Diabetes

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  1. The pear is safer than the apple. No, not the fruit, the body shape. Women who carry their weight below the waist are at less risk for developing diabetes and heart disease. However, those who carry their weight above the waist are at much higher risk for diabetes.
  2. Waist” loss is more important than ‘weight’ loss. Although it is difficult to lose in a specific place, focus on decreasing your waist measurement (or clothing size) rather than what the scale says. Healthy gradual weight loss achieved through diet and exercise will be more effective than temporary strict reductions in calories alone.
  3. It is not necessary to achieve an ‘ideal body weight’ or even your wedding day weight! Extensive studies show that losing a mere 7 -10% of your body weight can significantly improve control of diabetes.
  4. Fruit is good for you. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. It is full of vitamins and fiber, low calorie, zero fat and sodium, AND is portion controlled. People don’t gain weight eating fruit. Now having said that,
  5. Fruit is NOT a free food. Yes, it is full of carbohydrates, but the nutrients provided make it a worthwhile food choice. You cannot eat unlimited amounts of fruit at one time. You can eat fruit in the recommended portion size between most meals as a snack. Three a day? That’s way more than most eat anyway.
  6. Vegetables are a free food. Yes, just eat them! Buy seven bags of fresh or frozen vegetables every week. Add tomatoes, peppers and onions to everything! In addition to a ton of vitamins and fiber, low in fat and sodium, they help fill up your plate and belly!!! The days of meat and potatoes are over! (Exception to the above: peas, corn and lima beans are not free foods. They are considered starch.)
  7. Cheese is not good food. Cheese is very high fat. Ninety percent of its calories come from fat! Use it sparingly for flavor, not as a snack and not as a source of protein. Of course, if you want to gain weight, then go ahead, add it to your salads, sandwiches, broccoli and eat out often. Restaurants today seem to put cheese on everything.
  8. There is a magic pill for weight loss and diabetic control. There is no copay, no authorization or referral required. It’s readily available to all with no prescription. The minimal side effects may include a reduction in blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol, improved sleep, better flexibility and mobility increased self esteem and an overall improved sense of well-being.  It should be taken once a day, at any time and only takes 20 minutes to swallow. You guessed it! Exercise, or in simpler terms, a walk. In fact, exercise and weight loss have been proven to delay and possibly prevent diabetes!
  9. Just because diabetes runs in your family, doesn’t mean it’s your destiny. No, you cannot pick your genes anymore than you can pick your parents. But you can choose your lifestyle. Sensible eating, not “dieting” and a 20 minute walk a day is the easiest and most effective way to stave off diabetes.
  10. You don’t have to do it alone. Your best defense is a strong offense. Assemble your team; an endocrinologist, diabetes nurse educator, diabetes dietitian, who will give you the tools, resources and support necessary to navigate the river of medical, nutritional, physical and even financial obstacles that may currently be impeding your success. There is plenty of accurate information and technology now available to pave your way to success while living with diabetes.