November is Diabetes Awareness Month. Diabetes is a major health concern in the US, and on its way to becoming one in other parts of the world as the typical Western diet is adopted across the globe. There are three main types of diabetes; type 1, type 2, and gestational.
Gestational diabetes develops in pregnant women. It generally disappears when the pregnancy is over, but a woman has a greater risk of developing the disease later in life. Type 1 diabetes accounts for about 5% of all diabetes cases. Causes are not as clear for this type, which normally manifests during childhood. Type 2 diabetes is by far the most common form, accounting for at least 90% of all diabetes cases in the US. That's alarming. Here are some more alarming facts about diabetes:
- Diabetes affects 25.8 million people. That's 8.3% of the U.S. population</li>
- In 2005–2008, based on studies, 35% of U.S. adults aged 20 years or older had prediabetes (50% of adults aged 65 years or older). Applying this percentage to the entire U.S. population in 2010 yields an estimated 79 million American adults aged 20 years or older with prediabetes.
- Overall, the risk for death among people with diabetes is about twice that of people (of similar age but) without diabetes.
- Diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death in the United States.
Type 2 diabetes, the most common form, can be delayed or prevented by choosing a healthy lifestyle. A diet high in fat, sugar, and salt- low in fiber and vegetables, are major risk factors for this type of diabetes. Combined with being overweight, it is a recipe for disaster.
In type 2 diabetes, the cells in the body become insulin resistant. This is often due to poor nutrition, more specifically loads and loads of saturated fat. The cells become inflamed and are less able to perform their functions efficiently. Aside from vitamins and minerals, cells need certain fats. These fats are called Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs); alpha-linolenic acid (omega 3) and linoleic acid (omega 6). They are the only fats that we need and we must obtain them from our food.
However, it's not enough to just intake copious amounts of omega 6 and 3 fatty acids. You must have the ratio required by the human body, which is 3:1, for optimum cell health. When our cells receive this omega acid balance, they are primed for living- ready for some serious metabolism. They absorb insulin so that they can regulate our blood sugar. Blood sugar levels too high or too low ultimately lead to organ damage, depression, and anything in between- like diabetes.
It just so happens that hemp foods have that ratio. No other single plant source has all the essential amino acids, essential fatty acids, and complete proteins in as perfect ratios to meet nutritional needs. Diets rich in optimally balanced EFAs, such as hemp, can have a significant impact on diabetes prevention and treatment. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):
The Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP), a large prevention study of people at high risk for diabetes, showed that lifestyle intervention to lose weight and increase physical activity reduced the development of type 2 diabetes by 58% during a 3-year period. The reduction was even greater, 71%, among adults aged 60 years or older.
To put it simply, maintaining a healthy and ideal weight can reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Along with adequate physical activity, following a healthy vegan diet is the best way to keep an ideal weight and healthy bodily organs. A healthy vegan diet is low in saturated fat, contains no cholesterol, and is high in fiber. Combine a vegan diet with food choices low in added salt and sugar and high in EFAs, like hemp foods, and you're well on your way to delaying or preventing diabetes.
Find out how to add this healthy super food to your diet, visit: The Amazing Power of Hemp Foods.