Diabetes, Healthy Living

Diabetes Health

Diabetes has become an epidemic, affecting about twenty-one million Americans according to the American Diabetes Association. Yet more than 30% of that twenty-one Million are undiagnosed and don’t realize they have it.

According to research, there is an additional 40 to 60 million Americans with pre-diabetes. People with pre-diabetes are more likely to develop type-2 diabetes later in life unless they change their eating and exercise behaviors.

What is Pre-Diabetes

Pre-diabetes is a condition in which the blood glucose levels are higher than normal but not high enough to be called diabetes. To be diagnosed as pre-diabetic a fasting blood sugar reading of between 100 mg/dL and 125 mg/dL is needed.

How to Manage Your Pre-diabetes and Type 2 Diabetes

As mentioned before, pre-diabetes and type 2 diabetes can be managed with a proper diet and exercise plan. With diabetes, it is important to keep your blood sugar as close to normal as possible throughout the day. By following a proper meal plan and exercise plan, you will prevent the highs and lows in your blood sugar. Those highs and lows can be dangerous and can lead to life threatening effects on health such as, retinopathy including blindness, circulatory problems, kidney disease, heart disease, neuropathy and in some cases amputation.

What is Type 2 Diabetes

Your body changes some of the food you eat to sugar that is carried in your blood. Insulin helps get the sugar from your blood into the cells so you can use if for energy. With type 2 diabetes, the body loses the ability to efficiently use insulin produced by the pancreas and causes your blood sugar to remain too high. For a proper diagnosis of type 2 diabetes a person needs two separate fasting glucose readings of 126 mg/dL or higher. Type 2 diabetes develops slowly and can be prevented or reversed through proper diet, weight management and exercise. Those at risk for type 2 diabetes include: people over the age of 45, being overweight or obese, a diagnosis of pre-diabetes, having a low HDL (good cholesterol) reading, and having a family history of diabetes.

Early Detection is Key

If you think you might have diabetes or pre-diabetes, see your doctor. Early recognition of this disease is important. The longer the body is exposed to high or uncontrolled blood sugar levels, the greater the health problems can be. It’s recommended to have a fasting blood glucose test every three years if you are over the age of 45.

Signs & Symptoms of Diabetes.

Thirsty|Frequent Urination|Blurred Vision|Tired without doing much activity|Unexplained Weight Loss|Irritability

If you feel you have any of these symptoms be sure to see a doctor for a fasting glucose test.

Spicy Chicken Tacos

8 corn tortillas

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed of fat and cut into thin strips

¼ teaspoon salt, or to taste

2 teaspoons canola oil, divided

1 large onion, sliced

1 large green bell pepper, seeded and sliced

3 large cloves garlic, minced

1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced

1 tablespoon ground cumin

½ cup prepared hot salsa, plus more for garnish

¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro

Sliced scallions, chopped fresh tomatoes and reduced-fat sour cream, for garnish

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Wrap tortillas in foil and bake until heated through, 10 to 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, season chicken with salt. Heat 1 teaspoon oil in a large heavy skillet over high heat until very hot. Add chicken and cook, stirring until browned on all sides, about 6 minutes. Transfer to a bowl.

Reduce heat to medium and add the remaining 1 teaspoon oil to skillet. Add onion and cook, stirring, until they start to brown around the edges, 3 to 5 minutes. Add bell pepper, garlic, jalapeno and cumin. Cook, stirring, until peppers are bright green but still crisp, 2 to 3 minutes more.

Stir in salsa and reserved chicken. Cook, stirring, until chicken is heated through, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in cilantro. Spoon into warmed tortillas and garnish with scallions, tomatoes and sour cream.

Per Serving:

304 calories; 7.2 g total fat; 83 mg cholesterol; 396 mg sodium. 30 g carbohydrates; 29.8 g protein

Exchanges: 

2 Starch, 1 Vegetable, 3 1/2 Lean Meat 

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