Diabetes in N.J. and healthy foods that can help | Healthquest | NewJerseyNewsroom.com -- Your State. Your News.


Jun 03rd
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Diabetes in N.J. and healthy foods that can help

deRosaVicky101711_optBY VICKY DeROSA

All around the world, around this great nation and in our own beautiful state, diabetes is skyrocketing. Diabetes costs this state $5 billion per year; it is unfortunately costly and common.

In New Jersey there are 473,000 adults (ages 18 and older) that have diabetes. That is 7.2 percent of the population. There are an estimated 190,000 individuals that have diabetes but have not yet been diagnosed.

It seems as if we are not as scared of Type II diabetes as we should be. To that point, here’s what you should know:

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that as many as one in three US adults could have diabetes by 2050 if the current trends continue! Is that statistic scary enough for you?

Complications resulting from Type II are extremely dramatic and quite serious. Diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death and can lead to permanent disability and poor health. The risk of stroke is two to four times higher among people with diabetes. Adults with diabetes have heart disease death rates about two to four times higher than adults without diabetes. Diabetes is the leading cause of new cases of blindness in adults 20-74 years of age. It is also the leading cause of kidney failure, accounting for 44 percent of the new cases in 2008 according to the CDC. Additionally, more than 60 percent of leg and foot amputations not related to accidents and injuries were performed on people with diabetes.

Are you quite fearful yet? I suppose so; therefore let’s discuss what we can do for ourselves and our families. The old school of thought was that if you are thirsty a lot have frequent urination and have unexplained weight loss or gain you have diabetes or pre-diabetes. Now we have a way to predict it and not just catch it at the onset, it is called the metabolic syndrome.

The metabolic syndrome requires three of the following factors to be present to predict your likelihood of getting diabetes:

  • Waist size over 40 inches in men and 35 inches in women
  • Serum triglyceride level over 150
  • Serum HDL (good) cholesterol below 40 mg/dl in men and 50 mg/dl in women
  • Blood pressure over 130/85, or being on blood pressure medication
  • Fasting blood sugar over 110 mg/dl

Now that we can predict if we are at high risk of getting diabetes we need to focus on our diet. Nutrition should be the focus of all diabetic cures. It is critical to make food choices that are low in sugar and to consume an abundance of protein and vegetables. When we eat carbohydrates, it is important that they are complex carbohydrates (sweet potatoes, oatmeal, etc.) and avoid simple carbohydrates (syrup, candies, etc.) altogether. Remember that dark chocolate, in moderation, is a great alternative.

Exercise is a great addition to your life, it will without a doubt help prevent diabetes. Exercise improves your body’s use of insulin. Burning excess body fat helps because decreasing body fat results in improved insulin sensitivity. Exercising increases the “good” HDL cholesterol and decreases the “bad” LDL cholesterol.

You might also want to consider taking a high quality multi-vitamin. This assists in bridging nutritional gaps and regulating hormones such as insulin. A high quality vitamin can also help protect your body from diabetic complications.

Fortunately there are also herbs that may assist in managing diabetes:

  • fenugreek – Reduces blood sugar levels
  • Cinnamon – Contains minerals that help the body fight insulin resistance and triples insulin’s efficiency.
  • ginseng, onion & garlic – Contain blood sugar lowering ingredients and have great cardiovascular benefits.

The good news is that just by losing 10 percent of your body weight you will improve your body’s ability to use the insulin it makes, possibly preventing the onset of the disease. If you already have Type II diabetes, shedding 10 percent of your body weight may improve your symptoms and possibly prevent complications.

Tips for diabetes…


Did you know that cinnamon is great for people with diabetes? So why not have oatmeal in the morning and sprinkle it with lots of cinnamon every day.

Onions and garlic

Did you know that onions and garlic are fantastic for people with diabetes? So this month’s recipe will feature onions and garlic.

Fish with Peppers, Onions and Garlic

This is an extremely tasty, very nutritious and very quick recipe.


  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 green peppers, sliced
  • 2 yellow onions, sliced
  • 8 oz of mushrooms, sliced
  • 15 sun dried tomatoes, sliced
  • 4 large cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon good quality honey
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • Fresh ground black pepper
  • Salt to taste, only if you must
  • 4 6 oz cod filets, washed and pat dry

1. Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.

2. In a large sauce pan over medium heat add olive oil, onions, peppers and mushrooms and 1 teaspoon oregano, sauté for 3 to 4 minutes.

3. Add sun dried tomatoes and garlic, add remaining oregano and pepper, sauté for 5 minutes.

4. In a small bowl combine the balsamic, mustard and honey, add to pan and sauté for 2 minutes.

5. Place cod filets in oven proof baking dish. Season the fish with salt and pepper if you wish. Top with sautéed vegetables from sauce pan.

6. Place in oven for 12 to 15 minutes.

7. Remove from oven and serve over quinoa, whole wheat cous cous or brown rice.

This fish dish is quick and extremely healthy.

Vicky DeRosa is Founder and CEO, Studio V Health Corp. For more information check out www.studiovhealth.com.


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