Obesity and Diabetes: Your Health Is in Your Hands

Expert: Move every day, exercise and eat right

By Kelly Cardamone

Kelly Cardamone, a former marathon runner, is a registered dietitian and certified diabetes educator with General Physician, PC, in Williamsville. She has more than 20 years of expertise in health and wellness field and extensive experience providing nutritional counseling. For more information, visit www.gppconline.com
Kelly Cardamone, a former marathon runner, is a registered dietitian and certified diabetes educator with General Physician, PC, in Williamsville. She has more than 20 years of expertise in health and wellness field and extensive experience providing nutritional counseling. For more information, visit www.gppconline.com

Obesity is one of the most pressing health issues facing the US today. According to the 2015-16 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), 18.5 percent of children and 39.6 percent of adults are obese, defined by a body mass index (BMI) over 30. Obesity is the leading risk factor for Type 2 diabetes.

More than 100 million adults in the US live with prediabetes/diabetes, according to the CDC, increasing the risk of developing conditions such as heart attack or stroke, kidney disease, neuropathy and diabetic retinopathy.

The good news is the symptoms and conditions can be managed or, even, prevented. Your physician and pharmacist control oral or injectable medications and insulin, but diet, exercise and weight loss are under your control and can help manage or prevent the occurrence of diabetes.

A registered dietitian or a certified diabetes educator can help you safely set goals for diet, exercise and weight loss. The rewards are measurable. Modest weight loss can reduce blood pressure, improve blood cholesterol and blood glucose levels, and decrease insulin resistance.

Finding the right diet and lifestyle is both a science and an art and it is unique to each person. The basic principles are the same — eating fewer calories and moving more every day.

To manage diabetes and see results, you need to make lifestyle changes:

• Establish healthy eating habits. Eat low saturated fat and healthy fats — sunflower seeds, olive oil, avocados and almonds. Aim for 5-7 servings of fruits and vegetables a day, fiber-filled whole grains, lean proteins, low-fat dairy products and consume less sugar.

• Increase physical activity. There are 1,440 minutes in the day, try to take at least 20 to 30 minutes five days per week to get your heart pumping.

Utilizing a registered dietitian or certified diabetes educator can help create the best plan based on your health status, lifestyle, and goals, but it is essential to be under the care of your primary care physician to address any health issues or concerns.”

 Learning to control obesity and diabetes, is essential to living a healthy life. Move every day, exercise and eat right.

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