Eating Healthy and Exercising to Prevent Diabetes in Kids

 

Did you know that a lot of kids are diagnosed with diabetes every year?  There are two types of diabetes; type 1 and type 2.  Type 1 diabetes is a form of the disease when the body cannot produce enough insulin and type 2 diabetes is a form of the disease when the pancreas may produce normal insulin levels but cells become resistant to it. Although type 1 diabetes is still more widespread among children nationwide, type 2 diabetes has grown significantly from less than 5 percent in 1994 to about 20 percent among among young people in more recent years.  That’s a whole lot of kids with diabetes, wouldn’t you agree?  

Did you know that we can do something to lower those figures?  We can educate kids on eating healthy and exercising daily to help prevent future cases of diabetes and to help kids with diabetes to maintain their sugar blood level at a normal range.  The key to preventing type 2 diabetes in children is preventing obesity.  Have a balanced diet (including lots of fiber, whole-grain foods, and fruits and vegetables), avoid sugary junk foods and sodas, and get lots of exercise.  By exercising and eating right from an early age, we’ll be able to put a stop to this epidemic.

There are so many healthy food choices for kids that live with diabetes today?  Not only is eating healthy so important for kids that live with diabetes but it’s just as important for those that don’t have the disease.  It helps with overall health and well-being and helps to prevent diabetes, cholesterol, high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity and other health related issues.  We just need to know what those healthy choices are.  

All kids need to eliminate sugar, high fructose corn syrup and sodium from their diet.  A lot of processed foods, packaged foods, sodas and fast foods contain a lot of these bad ingredients.  Fast food restaurants are especially are unhealthy for you.  They are loaded with sodium, sugar and high fructose corn syrup.  Avoid them!  They are no good for you!  

Kids need to make healthy choices because it helps to control their blood sugar level and ultimately it makes them feel stronger and healthy.  Some healthy food options for kids are whole grains breads, whole grain pastas and rice, fruits, vegetables, snacks and even some low in sugar deserts too.  

When it comes to carbohydrates there are many healthy choices available such as whole grain breads, pastas and rice.  Legumes are good for kids too because they are loaded with vitamin and nutrients and contain a lot of protein to help maintain muscle mass.  Some great selection are chick peas, lentils, cannelloni beans, kidney beans, lima beans, and black beans.  Vegetables are our friends too.  Some great choices are kale, spinach, arugula, broccoli, string beans, any dark green leafy vegetables as well as mushrooms, peppers, zucchini, eggplants, beets, carrots, and tomatoes.  Low fat cheese is good too but eat them in moderation.  Most fruits have a low glycemic index (GI) because of the fructose that occurs naturally in fruits and the fiber content in them.  Some great fruit choices are:  apples, applesauce, avocados, banana, blackberries, blueberries, cantaloupe, cherries, dates, figs, grapefruit, guava, grapes, kiwi, mango, nectarine, orange, papaya, peaches, pears, pineapples, plums, raspberries, strawberries and watermelon.  Overall, fruit is encouraged, so enjoy eating them.  Some great snack choices are natural granola bars that are low in sugar content.  Nuts are also good for snacking but only in moderation and only for those kids that are not allergic to nuts.  Another great snack which should be eaten in moderation is dark chocolate.  Choose desserts that are low on the glycemic index by reviewing the sugar content before buying store bought desserts.  You can also chose to make you own dessert by reducing the sugar content or substituting with a sweetener such as honey.  

By exercising and eating right from an early age, we’ll be able to put a stop to this epidemic.  So start today and make healthy choices and prevent this epidemic from spreading further.  Healthy food choices help you stay strong and healthy in the long term.  Life is a little sweeter everyday when you eat right and exercise daily.

Copyright © Giovanna M and Diane G. M