Recently I was vacationing with family in Epcot during its food and wine festival. And I’ll admit, I went just a tad crazy sampling all of the local treats. There’s crème brûlée from France, cannoli from Italy, baklava from Greece, and flan from Puerto Rico—and you have to try them all, right!
While occasionally breaking your diet while you’re on vacation can’t do too much harm, eating too many sugary and processed foods can put you at risk for many health complications—including diabetes.
Diabetes—in which the body does not produce or properly use insulin—affects nearly 30 million people in the United States. In addition, another 86 million Americans are living with prediabetes, putting them at risk of developing type 2 diabetes. There are two types of diabetes: type 1, which is usually diagnosed in children and young adults, and type 2, which is the most common form and most often diagnosed in adults.
People living with diabetes face some serious medical problems: they are nearly twice as likely to be hospitalized for a heart attack or stroke; they are more likely to have advanced diabetic retinopathy, which increases their risk for severe vision loss; diabetes causes nearly 50% of all cases of kidney failure; and, more than half of all amputations in adults occur in people with diabetes. However, people with diabetes can reduce their risks of these complications by managing their ABCs – A1C, or average blood glucose, Blood pressure, and Cholesterol.
Shockingly, recent studies show that as many as one in three American adults will have diabetes in 2050—unless we take action to stop it. World Diabetes Day is coming up on November 14th, and, in the spirit of this day of awareness, let’s all pledge to lead more active, healthy lives!