A quarter of a trillion dollars a year! That’s the total economic price tag of diabetes as of 2012 in terms of health care costs and lost productivity. That number is prepared to surge as recent evidence indicates that half of Americans are either pre-diabetic or diabetic. The unfortunate reality is that much of our country’s diabetes (type 2) epidemic is the result of dietary choices and not inherited genetic disorders.
Diet is more important than exercise
It is often said that exercise can make up for a bad diet, but an increasing amount of evidence indicates that isn’t so. Instead, the old adage that we are what we eat may be a more accurate assessment.
What we consume defines our current and future health profile through a biological process of gene expression called epigenetics. In essence, it is the study of what w
e expose ourselves to, primarily through the consumption of food, and how it effects our genetic outcomes.
Research indicates that the chance of chronic disease for one’s self and one’s offspring have a lot to do with lifestyle choices. Many factors weigh in, such as stress levels, exercise and sleeping patterns.
Diet is clearly the biggest determining factor and one that cannot be offset by physical activity. This is a critical distinction and diametrically opposed to past myths that exercise is the most important part of a healthy lifestyle.
Do your homework and determine the best choices for your diet
My own research indicates a plant-centered nutritionally-balanced diet can help to not only treat, but in some cases even reverse type 2 diabetes. While some may have different metabolic outcomes on such a diet, it does provide more evidence that some of the toughest chronic diseases we face may be directly the result of dietary and lifestyle choices.
This is truly empowering information because it means that we all collectively have a chance to improve our health outcomes by eating for our health (rather than merely for our satiation).