Tuesday, April 28, 2009
I'll admit it -- I'm a big fan of Days of Our Lives. I used to watch it in high school and college and didn't watch for years and years. But it comes on after Martha Stewart's show and slowly but surely it pulled me back in. This week it's introducing a diabetes storyline. Evil patriarch Stefano DiMera thought he was being poisoned by his archenemy Victor Kiriakis, so Stefano checked himself into the hospital. After he had bloodwork drawn (by his daughter the doctor, of course), he discovered that his sick feeling was a different kind of poison -- type 2 diabetes. It'll be interesting to see how they work the disease into his storyline. So far, he's dismissing the diagnosis.
Diabetes is a huge fear for me. I don’t have it, but I get my bloodwork checked at every yearly physical because my brother developed an aggressive case of the disease a few years ago. It never ran in my family until he got it, probably from living the modern lifestyle of fast food and not exercising.
Beachbody introduced a comprehensive diet and fitness program with Kathy Smith, called Project You: Type 2, which I have written about at Examiner.com. And now Nutrisystem has introduced a program for diabetics and pre-diabetics called Nutrisystem-D. Pre-diabetics are people at risk for the disease, and if you're overweight or obese, you pretty much count yourself in that group.
In a clinical study at Temple University School of Medicine, people with type 2 diabetes on the Nutrisystem-D plan lost as much as 16 times more weight while lowering their A1C test scores (a 90-day measure of blood sugar control) by 0.9 greater than those following a hospital-directed diet regimen. There were also significant reductions in triglycerides, cholesterol and waist circumference.
I had the opportunity to look over the program, and it's a great way for someone newly diagnosed with the disease to ease into a proper eating plan. The foods are all formulated to be low on the glycemic index, which means they won't spike blood sugar levels. Everything is planned out for the week, so that takes a lot of pressure off having to scrupulously count carbs (but there is a food journal where you can keep track of diet, water consumption weight and exercise). The difference between the Nutrisystem diabetic plan and the regular plan is that the diabetic plan foods have increased fiber for a lower glycemic load. At right is their black beans and rice entree.
There is also a pocket meal planner with serving sizes of various foods that you add into the Nutrisystem plan, as well as a dining-out guide. And there's a 40-minute workout DVD led by Leslie Sansone.
I don't have diabetes and I'm doing everything in my power not to get it. But I can imagine how overwhelming a diagnosis might be. A program like Nutrisystem would be a good way for someone newly diagnosed to get their bearings and get their blood sugar and health on track.