The Nutritarian

Healthy Eating Insight

Detrimental Diabetes: Preventable, Research Shows

Written By: The Nutritarian - Jan• 04•13

Do you ever think of disease as a detrimental cost to society?  According to the American Diabetes Association the total cost of diabetes in the United States in 2007 was $218 billion.

  • $18 billion for people with undiagnosed diabetes
  • $25 billion for American adults with pre-diabetes
  • $623 million for gestational diabetes

Diabetes: What it is

Healthy bodies know how to efficiently absorb carbohydrates for use, while diabetic bodies are more problematic because they interfere with this process and the body cannot regulate blood sugar (glucose).  Fluctuations in glucose, as such, damages delicate tissue and can lead to blindness, seizures, kidney failure, poor circulation, amputations, stroke, and heart disease.  Not to mention a burning hole in the health care pocket.

Diabetes Breakdown:

Type 1- Body doesn’t produce enough glucose for the brain to function properly.  Untreated type 1 can lead to coma and death.

Symptoms: frequent urination, unusual weight loss, unusual thirst, extreme fatigue, and irritability.

Type II- Body is resistant to insulin after long-term biological changes over time.

Symptoms: any of the type I symptoms, plus; frequent infections, blurred vision, cuts/bruises that are slow to heal, tingling/ numbness in the hands or feet, recurring skin, gum or bladder infections.

Risk factors for diabetes include:

Obesity, heart disease, high cholesterol, and a diet high in sugar with little or no exercise.

How can we afford these bad habits?

  • $174 billion: Total costs of diagnosed diabetes in the United States in 2007
  • $116 billion for direct medical costs
  • $58 billion for indirect costs (disability, work loss, premature mortality)

After adjusting for population, age, and sex differences, average medical expenditures among people with diagnosed diabetes were 2.3 times higher than what expenditures would be in the absence of diabetes.  There’s more, the economic burden of diabetes is expected to triple to $336 billion in 2034 according to a University of Chicago news publication.

Diabetes Prevention 

2013 Tune Up For Healthy Habits in 8 Steps (it is recommended to take on one healthy habit at a time for best success)

1. Demand whole grains instead of highly processed carbohydrates.  This will stabilize blood sugar, and keep you full longer.

2. Read labels and skip products with added sugar.  Exchange sugar drinks for an occasional flavored water.  Carry extra water and green tea with you for hydration and extra antioxidants.

3. Choose better fats.  Avoid empty foods that offer zero nutritional benefit.  Start with eliminating fried, fatty, or unnecessarily creamy foods.

4. Limit red meat and avoid processed meats.  Try beans and other cholesterol-free meat alternatives to sustain protein and energy levels.  Carmelina Brandsâ Italian Beans found at your local grocery provide the best variety (all of which are on the top ten ANDI score list for super foods) and are the easiest, and best tasting.  Check out the healthy super food recipe below.

5. Load your fridge with fruits and vegetables. Dark leafy greens like kale, bok choy, greens (mustard, collard, turnip), spinach, and arugula have highest antioxidant levels.

6. If You Smoke, Quit.

7. Occasionally enjoy alcohol in moderation.

8. Exercise. Even 3 hours per week can reduce the type 2 diabetes risk by 58 percent.  Work toward daily exercise, practicing varying levels of intensity.

  • Set weekly goals. Try to get a minimum of 30 minutes exercise several times a week to begin, gradually increase as you become fit.
  • Encourage others to join by making an activity (walking) a regular bonding habit with family, friends, or pets.
  • Find activities and groups that motivate you, make exercise fun with family and friends.
  • Step out of your comfort zone and try something new: swimming, dancing, boot camps, biking, or yoga.  Once you find something you like, make it a healthy habit.

For research supporting the 8 tips, please reference The Nutrition Source posted by Harvard School Of Public Health.

According to a health professionals, like registered dietician Katlin Andersen, and a Harvard School of Public Health posting (2012), type 2 diabetes can be prevented.

Research says weight loss of just 5 percent to 7 percent of your body weight can significantly reduce your risk. That’s 10 to 14 pounds for a 200 lb. person.

If you are living with diabetes, the following can help you maintain normal blood sugar levels:
Prepare. Plan healthy, small meals or snacks at regular 2-3 hour increments throughout the day.  This will pique your metabolism, regulating blood sugar and mood.  These should be fast and tasty experiment to see what works for your body i.e. a fresh piece of fruit, a small handful of nuts, whole wheat pita and hummus or nut butter, fresh veggies dipped in fat free Greek yogurt with sea salt and fresh dill, carrots, raspberries and tahini, Newman’s spelt pretzels with baked kale or sea weed, fresh cherry tomatoes.  Further recommendations for tasty, healthy products can be found on
Know thy Carb. Carbohydrates will raise blood sugar. They are found in grains, starchy vegetables, beans and legumes, dairy, fruit, and sweets. Look at the food label and learn total grams of carbohydrates for the serving size of food you’re consuming.
Watch portion size. The MyPlate symbol is a great visual guide for portion control.

You’ll find these tips aligning well with creating a fabulous 2013.  Envision yourself maintaining a healthy weight, accruing less doctor’s visits, and staying disease free.  This will allow for more enjoyable quality time with friends and family in good health.  Start now with a great healthy recipe!


Soulful Winter Stew

Serves 6-8 




Carmelina Brands® Italian Cannelini Beans

Water, add more if needed

Sea Salt & White pepper

Rosemary, fresh dried, divded

2, 14.28 ounce cans

2 C.

to taste

2 t.

Potatoes, fingerling, ½ in. Slices/circles



Onion, cut in half, then quarters

Fresh cubanelle peppers, sliced

Fresh jalapeno, sliced

Eggplant, sliced, then quartered

Mushrooms (Crimini), sliced

Squash or pumpkin puree

2 ½ C.

2 large, 2 cups

1 small head

1 large white or yellow


1 or, more for spicy

1 small, 2-3 C.

5 cups

½ C.

Full cabbage Leaves or fresh spinach

Greens: Kale & chard, chopped

Pea Shoots

1 serving per person.

6-8 large leaves



  1. Wash all ingredients, open beans and partially drain.
  2. Bring 2 cups of water to a boil, add sea salt, and pepper to water.  Add 1 teaspoon of rosemary, salt, and pepper to potato slices.
  3. Separate veggies into medium sized bowls.
  4. Sprinkle remaining rosemary, salt, and pepper over each bowl of ingredients. Add potatoes to boiling water. Cook for 4 minutes, stir.
  5. Add parsnips and cauliflower, stir, cook for 3-4 more minutes.
  6. Add onion and peppers, stir. Cook for two minutes.
  7. Add eggplant, mushrooms, pumpkin puree, remainder of rosemary, and beans.  Turn over/stir gently for a minute or two, just until eggplant begins turning translucent.
  8. Taste stew, add salt and pepper as needed.
  9. Position fresh cabbage leaves or spinach leaves into each serving bowl.  Add the greens (chard and kale) to pot and cover for 1-2 minutes; until vibrantly green and slightly wilted.  Stir and taste for necessary adjustments.
  10. Ladle stew into cabbage cups.  Garnish with pea shoots.  Enjoy!

Tip: This stew serves as a satisfying, well-balanced meal; in small portions, a hearty appetizer. Serving over fresh spinach or cabbage adds nutrients along with a fresh, crisp crunch. Accompany with warm toasted whole grain sprouted bread for extra iron and satiation.

* Recipe created by Laine DeLeo,The Nutritarian, on behalf of Mangia, Inc™

For more information about Carmelina Brands® and great recipe ideas, visit

Unlinked Sources: Thompson, Janice, and Manore, Melinda: Nutrition an Applied Approach, 2nd Edition, 2008.

Material from Mercy Hospital Intergrative Medicaine and Wellness Program Health Fair, informational speakers, and packets (Nov. 2012).

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