Beating the Odds
IF someone in your family already has diabetes, you know that diet is the most essential component of her or his treatment. For many Type II patients, weight loss may be enough to alleviate symptoms. Does that mean that, as an at-risk relative, you have to follow some rigid "diabetic diet" even before you have any signs of disease?
No, because you don't need to concern yourself with the timing and frequency of meals, or the specifics of keeping blood-glucose levels steady. But those with diabetes do learn about good nutrition—and so should you. For them, the consequences of not following a healthy eating plan are more immediate—unstable blood-glucose levels, weakness, and the onset of complications. For you, the consequences— diabetes or another health problem—may appear much later. In truth, the basics of a "diabetic diet" are not unique to the treatment of diabetes; they can protect you from hypertension, heart disease, cancer, and a variety of other ills. These basic diet guidelines are the prescription for anyone who wants to enjoy a longer, healthier life.
Perhaps when you hear the word diet, you think deprivation, sure that it means you won't ever be able to enjoy the foods you like. If you're overweight, you may also think