At 13, Nick Jonas was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. “I had an emotional breakdown since I really had no idea what diabetes was all about. I wondered, ‘why me?’ Then I asked myself, ‘why not me?’ and realized that I might be able to help other kids with diabetes.”
For the past 6 years, Nick’s mission has been to help and inspire other kids dealing with juvenile diabetes. The teen icon gives freely of his time to charity events to raise awareness and also visit young diabetic kids. Healthy Hollywood applauds Nick Jonas!
Halle Berry and Sharon Stone are also afflicted with diabetes. Yet, it’s not just the rich and famous who suffer, over 21 million children and adults in the United States are living with diabetes, and one in three Americans will develop diabetes in their lifetime! That’s some serious numbers.
November is American Diabetes Month, so Healthy Hollywood hopes to shed a little light on this serious (and increasingly common) condition. “There is a genetic component to diabetes, which would make a person more likely to develop the condition and an environmental part which involves diet and lifestyle,” reveals Nicolette Pace, founder of NutriSource, and she specializes in diabetes self management training. Nicolette adds, “In other words, your genes are carrying a gun and your diet can pull the trigger.”
Despite popular belief, there isn’t an “eat this and you’ll get diabetes” link. However, adult onset diabetes can be set-off by overall weight gain and lousy eating habits. “If you look at a typical American diet you will see that the majority of what is eaten leads to weight gain and obesity which quickly escalates to metabolic problems, pre-diabetes, and finally full-blown diabetes,” adds Nicolette.
However, for those suffering with diabetes, it is good advice to eliminate as many hidden fats and sugars from their diet. “Fighting diabetes has a lot to do with managing your overall carbohydrate and calorie intake. If weight gain has been an issue it must be immediately stopped. Therefore, the addition of foods that will fill you up with smaller portions will be key. These include whole plant foods (vegetables, fruits, grains, beans etc.) as their water and fiber content leads to greater fullness from the weight of food,” suggests Nicolette.
Studies also suggest working in lean protein foods to stabilize hunger and provide necessary nutrients. Reversing diabetes is possible in its early stages with a strict program.
Nicolette shares with Healthy Hollywood 3 eating tips diabetics should follow…
1. Keep a record of what you eat, how much you have eaten and your blood sugar to highlight the relationship.
2. Learn how to read a food label and know what to look for when you are buying prepared foods.
3. Limit processed foods by developing a shopping list in advance to incorporate as many whole foods as you can. This meal-planning tip will help free you from buying impulse foods.