Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Townsfolk Around the World, Say No to Diabesity

The spinach/beans/orange slice salad can do great things for the palate and, blood-sugar levels. Photo courtesy of Whole Foods Market.

By JANET COOK, NYC Healthy Chick

Ho! Ho! Happy Holidays from NYC Healthy Chick.

It's not even friggin' Turkey Day yet and retailers are playing subliminal holiday songs promoting good cheer while hoping to cash in at the register early this year. Instead of buying a gift that will go unused or be regifted, think about new ways to promote better health and happiness this holiday season.

A daily round of yoga is a proven antidote to stress, which contributes to insulin resistance. Photo courtesy of Dreamstime.

One gift that one out of every two of us will get this year is a disease that will make us fat, sick and will kill us. The scary thing is that 90 percent of us don't even know we have it.

So what is it? It's called Diabesity, the continuum of abnormal biology that ranges from mild insulin resistance to full-blown diabetes. Who heard of such a thing? I have and I have a few ideas about how to stave it off, but first a little more background.

According to my health guru, Mark Hyman, MD, "diabesity complications are – diabetes, elevated blood sugar, blood pressure and cholesterol – all are simply downstream symptoms that result from problems with diet, lifestyle, and environmental toxins interacting with our unique genetic susceptibilities."

Get the day started with a breakfast of a nutrient-dense baked quinoa bar. Photo courtesy of Whole Foods Market.

Insulin, then, is the real driver in this problem – right? The average U.S. diet is composed mainly of empty calories and abundant quickly absorbed sugars, liquids and carbohydrates. Cells slowly become resistant to the effects of insulin and need increasingly more to do the same job of keeping blood-sugar levels in balance. A direct consequence is a resistance to insulin. Guess what happens next? Premature aging and deterioration of the body.

As insulin levels increase this leads to any number of problems such as an out-of-control appetite, weight gain around the belly, inflammation and oxidative stress. And if that is not enough, myriad other downstream effects, including high blood pressure, high cholesterol, low HDL, high triglycerides, thickening of the blood and increased risk of cancer, Alzheimer's Disease and depression. Oh – no, no, no. Who among us wants this?!

Less milk and cookies and more vegetables and exercise will help Santa fit into the suit he used to wear 20 years ago. Photo courtesy of Dreamstime.

Good news! Insulin resistance and Diabesity are100 percent reversible. Most of us simply need to eliminate the lifestyle and dietary practices that are causing biological imbalances and add the ones that are necessary to help the body regain its balance. These changes can produce immediate effects..

Open to receiving a great gift this holiday season? Here is NYC Healthy Chick's Gift of Health for Diabesity Prevention.

Mighty Supplements. Take a good multivitamin, vitamin D and fish oil. Add to these special blood-sugar balancing nutrients such as alpha lipoic acid, chromium polynicotinate, biotin, cinnamon, green tea catechins and glucomannan.

Apricot hemp seed chews can satisfy a sweet tooth without causing a crash and burn later. Photo courtesy of Whole Foods Market.

Push Pause. Stress is a major unrecognized contributor to insulin resistance and blood-sugar imbalance. Reserve time every day to do relaxation exercises – deep breathing, visualization, yoga, etc.

Break a Sweat. Walk for at least 30 minutes each day. For some, 30 to 60 minutes or more of vigorous aerobic exercise four to six times a week may be necessary.

Get Connected. Research shows improvement in our overall health when we consistently spend quality time with others. Invite friends, families and neighbors to change their diets and lifestyle along with you. Together we can all take back our health.

Healthy eating in community (but not all at once, please)is a natural cure for Diabesity. Photo courtesy of Dreamstime.

Good Nutrition. Eliminate sugar and processed carbohydrates; include whole real foods like lean protein (chicken or fish), vegetables, nuts, seeds, beans and whole grains.

Below are a few recipes to help you stay on track this holiday season:

Get your internal furnace burning first thing in the morning with Home Baked Breakfast Quinoa Bars. These coco-almond nutrient-packed goodies replace the high sugary breakfast bars. ( … Toss things up with Spinach Salad with Aduki Beans. It can be a side dish or add more raw vegetables and beans to make it a main. Nutrient-dense dishes like this are a great means of balancing the blood-sugar level. ( … Keep cravings in check with Hempseed Apricot Chews. Get your daily dose of omega-3 fatty acids and fruit naturally. If kept in an airtight container in the refrigerator, these goodies can last up to two weeks. (

In celebrating this holiday season, better watch out, better not fry – I'm telling you why – you don’t want Diabesity to come to town!

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