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A few weeks ago I saw Sherri Shepherd from The View, on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno.  Sherri was on to promote her book, Plan D: How to Lose Weight and Beat Diabetes (Even If You Don't Have It).  Sherri recalled that when she was young, she would hear family members talking about someone having Sugar, but not paying too much attention to what Sugar was.  Even when someone showed up with a missing leg, it didn’t register.  The same with me.  As a child in Barbados, the term Sugar was often used.  No one used the word diabetes.  I now know the correct name for Sugar and as it was when I was a child, I also have friends and family members who are living with the disease. 

Diabetes is very prevalent in the African-American Community.  Many African-Americans eat too many fatty and fried foods, imbibe too many sweet drinks, use too much salt and don’t eat enough fruits and vegetables.  Like a lot of other Americans, many of them are also overweight or even obese.

On a trip to the supermarket about three years ago, I discovered some canned goods sold by an African American-owned company.  I had read a few articles in the business press about the success of this company.  I was happy that they were able to get their products on the shelves of this particular supermarket chain.  So I went ahead and purchased a can of one of their products.  However, when I opened the can at home and tasted its contents, I immediately spat them out!  The salt was overwhelming.  It seemed like at least a ½ lb of salt was added to the can.  This particular company sells a lot of product to the black community.
Image credit: sam74100 / 123RF Stock Photo
I attended a Health Fair given by my former employer a few years ago and was shocked to discover that each can of soda contains 10 tablespoons of sugar!  My then employer provided free sodas and I used to drink at least 2-3 cans of Coke or Pepsi per day.  A lot of my co-workers drank even more.  Today, I seldom drink soda.

Currently, we’re not only contending with obese adults, but also obese children.  There has also been a rise in Childhood Diabetes.  Both Type 1 and Type 2.  According to the American Diabetes Association, the increase in type 2 is linked to the prevalence of obesity in youth.

First Lady, Michelle Obama deserves a lot of credit for starting her Let’s Move campaign.  I have read that her campaign has actually produced positive results.  More kids and adults have included some form of exercise in their daily routine and are eating more fruits and vegetables.

Diabetes is not a disease that touches just overweight people.  It is an equal opportunity disease that can touch anyone who ingests too much sugar and doesn't have a healthy diet.  Many famous celebrities like Patti Labelle, Halle Berry and Mary Tyler Moore are living with diabetes.

Having diabetes or working to prevent the onset doesn't mean you have to give up desserts or other meals that you love. If you would like to prevent the onset of diabetes, watch what you eat.  Start by eating more fruits and vegetables, follow a diet with less sugar, salt and carbohydrates.  You can also pick up a copy of Sherri Shepherd’s book or any other book on living with or preventing the onset of diabetes.  To get you started on healthier eating habits, we've rounded up 17 amazing recipes from Diabetic Living just for you.  From appetizers to entrees, desserts and cocktails, we've got you covered.

Written by Jennifer!




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