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Introduction to How Foods Fight Diabetes
Diabetes is a major public health problem of epidemic proportions. More than 12% of the U.S. adult
population has diabetes, and more than one-quarter of the population over 65 has the disease.1
One out of four people with diabetes is unaware they have it, which means they are not being
treated with a healthy diet or medications. Uncontrolled, diabetes can lead to complications from
head to toe, including stroke, loss of vision, heart disease, kidney failure, and various problems
due to nerve damage and circulatory problems, such as erectile dysfunction or lower-extremity
An even greater number of people have prediabetes (impaired fasting glucose, impaired glucose
tolerance, or both), which means they are at high risk for developing diabetes. With prediabetes,
blood glucose levels are higher than normal, but not yet high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes.
There are 86 million people in the United States who have prediabetes, and they are generally
without symptoms. Recent research has shown that some long-term damage to the body,
especially the heart and circulatory system, may already be occurring during prediabetes. A blood
test is used to diagnose prediabetes. Between 15% and 30% of people with prediabetes will
develop diabetes within five years. Weight loss can prevent or delay this onset.
An astonishing one in three children born in the year 2000 is at risk of developing type 2 diabetes
(and one in two African Americans, Native Americans, and Hispanic Americans) in his or her
lifetime, unless there are significant changes in diet and activity levels. Fortunately, type 2
diabetes is largely a disease of over-nutrition and sedentary lifestyle. The disease can be
prevented, and complications can often be avoided or treated with a significant change in lifestyle
The road to diabetes does not have to be a one-way street. There is reason for hope!
People who eat plant-based meals are less likely to ever develop diabetes, and for those
who have diabetes, plant-based meals can help to improve blood sugar levels and prevent
complications. These meals are affordable and can be quite delicious and satisfying. A
low-fat, plant-based approach offers a new tool that many have found to be very useful.
Review the latest science behind this approach, consider some simple ideas for getting
started, learn about how to make simple, delicious dishes, and explore useful resources.
Good-Enough-for-Guests Green Salad
Yes-You-Can Black Bean Chili
Chocolate Cherry Nirvana Smoothie