Welcome to Self Soul Space! This blog is designed to bring you healthy lifestyle tips. A true healthy lifestyle, embodies a healthy mind, body, spirit, and environment. Thanks for stopping by to check out my way of living.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Diabetes & Paula Deen

With the latest news of Paula Deen having type 2 diabetes, the news and social media has been on fire.  Critics are blaming Paula Deen and her rich foods for her diagnosis and the Obesity/Diabetes epidemic affecting our country... Let's explore what is Diabetes, how healthy living can help with Diabetes, and what is Paula Deen's responsibility...

What is Diabetes?
Diabetes is the most common disorder of the hormone system. It affects over 23 million people in the US alone. Diabetes occurs when the body cannot regulate blood sugar.  There are 3 main types of Diabetes, Type 1, Type 2, and Gestational Diabetes.  Type 1 is brought on by the body's inability to produce insulin.  Type 2 is brought on by the body not responding to the effects of insulin.  Gestational diabetes, occurs during pregnancy.  In a healthy person, the pancreas releases insulin to help your body use & store the sugar from the food you eat.  Diabetes occurs when the pancreas does not produce any insulin, produces only a little bit of insulin, or when the body does not respond to the insulin appropriately.

Who is at Risk?
Type 2, is the most common form of diabetes, and the more health risk factors you have, the better your chances are for developing diabetes.  Here are some of the health risk factors (via webMD):

  • A Family history of diabetes- parent or sibling
  • Over age 45
  • Race or ethnic background- risk is greater in Hispanics, African-Americans, Native Americans, and Asians
  • Metabolic syndrome- also called insulin resistance syndrome
  • Being Overweight (BMI >25) & Inactivity- While not everyone with diabetes is overweight, obesity and lack of physical activity are two of the most common causes of type 2 diabetes.  
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Unbalanced Cholesterol levels- HDL (good) cholesterol is too low, and LDL (bad) cholesterol levels are too high
  • History of Gestational diabetes from a Pregnancy
  • History of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
  • History of vascular disease- like a stroke
How to Prevent Diabetes?
Type 1 diabetes cannot be prevented, but type 2 has the ability to be prevented through healthy living.  Symptoms of all types of diabetes can also be improved by healthy living.  If you are overweight, with diabetes or a family history of diabetes, slimming down can reduce your chances & symptoms.  Exercise and a nutritionally balanced diet can greatly limit the effects of diabetes on the body.  If you smoke, Quit, smoking dramatically increases the effects & symptoms of diabetes.  If you feel you have some of these risk factors, contact your doctor for a screening.  Overall, Eat right & exercise!

Paula Deen & Diabetes:
So, yes, Paula Deen's recipes are full of butter, sugar, and mayo.  I haven't met a recipe of hers that did not taste good.  And yes, I own her one of her cookbooks, which I love to use on occasion.  But is she to blame for the obesity & diabetes epidemic affecting our country?  NO!  All "yummy goodness" is fine in moderation.  But obesity & diabetes is not her fault alone, and without us seeing her medical records, we are never going to be sure what caused her diabetes.  Will she make changes in her diet and recipes to accommodate her new diagnosis, probably, but wouldn't you? Everyone needs to be held accountable for what they put in their mouths, not Paula Deen.  She is not the only Celebrity Chef, and her recipes are not the only ones on the planet.  She is not forcing America to eat unhealthy, we allow ourselves to eat unhealthy.  We have the choice to eat or not to eat "fatness"!  It's time we take responsibility for our lives and diets, including the lives and diets of our children... Stop passing the blame, and start Living Healthy!

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