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Healthy Diet Helps Stave Off Diabetes
Nearly 30 percent of adults in North Dakota are obese and that number's expected to keep going up. Obesity puts people at an increased risk of developing numerous health-related diseases, including diabetes.
Most adults in North Dakota are at risk for developing diabetes. A 2009 state survey found that most people have at least one of the risk factors associated with the disease. Having high blood pressure, high cholesterol, being overweight or obese, not exercising regularly, eating fewer than five fruits and vegetables daily or being a smoker all puts people at greater risk of developing diabetes. But people can reduce the likelihood of being diagnosed with diabetes.
Dieticians like Megan Myrdal say incorporating the North Dakota plate method into one's daily diet is a good start. "It has us get a consistent amount of carbohydrates in our meals which is something that's very important with controlling blood sugars and keeping those consistent," Myrdal said.
Here's how the plate method works: divide a nine-inch plate into three sections- half of the plate is allocated for non-starchy vegetables, a quarter is cut out for bread and starches and the remaining quarter is for meat. On the side add a serving of fruit and a low fat dairy item.
Myrdal said, "A serving size of meat is about the size of a deck of cards so that is three ounces and it's what your body needs and we often live in a society that's very portion distortion so we think that we should be getting a lot more than we actually need."
The NDSU Extension Office began using the plate method several years ago and extension agents like Myrdal say it's one of the ways to reverse the state's growing diabetes epidemic.
Starting in October, NDSU Extension Service will be offering its four-part Dining with Diabetes class geared for those with diabetes and their families. For more information visit http://www.ag.ndsu.edu/burleighcountyextension