After reading an interview with Halle Berry in the November 2012 issue of Arizona Health and Living magazine about how she’s living with diabetes (she is amongst the 23.6 million Americans diagnosed with diabetes), I simply had to share with you 3 glaring mistakes she, and nearly everyone, is making when faced with a health challenge such as diabetes — and how to avoid them.
Ms. Berry told the Daily Mail in 2005, “Diabetes caught me completely off guard. None of my family had suffered from the illness and although I was slightly overweight in school, I thought I was pretty healthy.”
This is a very typical response, I find. We are often lured into believing that we are either doomed by genetics or have a false sense of armor because of our family history.
Time and again I remind my clients that what we tend to inherit doesn’t have nearly as much to do with genetics as it does our shared (or differing) diet and lifestyle. Bottom line is this: if you follow a diet that is known to be conducive to developing certain diseases or disorders – in this case, diabetes – whether it runs in your family or not, you’re playing Russian Roulette with your health and chances are you’ll indeed end up with health issues!
Ms. Berry describes managing the disease “by adopting a healthy lifestyle that includes a diet low in fat and sugar, and rich in vegetables, fish, chicken and pasta.” Now that sounds pretty good doesn’t it? But can you spot the red flag for me?
That’s kind of a trick question because there are actually two mistakes in her dietary choices, but right now I’m going to address the one regarding a diet “low in fat” (I’ll reveal the other mistake in just a second though).
Fat has unfortunately been made out to be the enemy when in fact healthy fats are essential to our health and our brain’s function, and can help slow the body’s conversion of foods into sugars.
A wonderful way to slow down the conversion and steady your blood sugar levels is to choose snacks such as celery sticks with raw almond butter or homemade guacamole. Or choose a high protein food such as a few ounces of fresh cooked turkey as a snack throughout the day to keep your sugar levels steady.
The third mistake is one that doesn’t apply exclusively to diabetics — not by a long shot! And, once again, there are two mistakes lurking here for the price of one.
Ms. Berry shares that one of her “favorite dishes is something simple but tasty such as grilled tuna and garlic mashed potato.”
First thing — tuna is one fish I strongly recommend my client’s avoid due to the high levels of mercury. We are already working hard to detoxify harmful heavy metals such as these from our bodies and our brain.
So why is it that tuna is heavier in mercury than, say, wild salmon? Well, the bigger the fish the more little fish they eat. And little fish contain mercury. Yes, even fish are what they eat. Tuna is often the size of a dolphin and therefore larger than a lot of humans. I also recommend avoiding other big fish such as halibut.
The other problem with her “favorite dish” is the part about the “mashed potato.” You see, high starch vegetables (especially white potatoes without their skins), grains and pastas (by the way, pasta being on her list of dietary choices was the 2nd hidden mistake I alluded to earlier ) all convert over to sugars quickly, and can really wreak havoc when it comes to blood sugar balance.
So what do I love about Halle Berry’s diet and lifestyle choices since she was diagnosed with diabetes in 1989? She wisely does the following:
- Follows a diet low in sugar and she “cut back on fruit because it can contain quite a lot of sugar.”
- Practices yoga regularly to help control her stress level and fitness regimen.
- Became proactive by adopting a healthy (or at least a healthier) lifestyle.
Whether you’re diabetic, or simply want to avoid becoming one:
- Don’t think just because an illness runs in your family that it’s a guarantee you’ll suffer the same fate. Changing your lifestyle and health choices gives you a huge leg-up towards prevention and/or treatment.
- Avoid playing Russian roulette with your health thinking you’re immune because you have NO family history of disease by choosing to eat and live healthy now — so you can eat and live healthy longer!
- Learn more about what constitutes “healthy fats.” One of my favorite web sites is Dr. Joseph Mercola. Eat healthy fats to help slow the metabolizing and absorption of sugars and keep blood sugar levels stable.
- Choose smaller varieties of wild fish, such as wild salmon.
- Avoid foods high in starch and natural sugars i.e. white potato, rice, pasta, grains, etc. They convert over to sugar and create blood sugar highs and lows.
Remember, take care of your health today by making one small change every week and your life will be sweeter than anything you could ever possibly eat! It’s like the saying goes “Nothing tastes as good as healthy feels.”
Wishing you vibrant health and happiness. ~ Nattacia