Healthy eating for the entire household? FoodPicker.org Question of the month; September 2011

Subject: Healthy eating for the entire household?

I have pre-diabetes and am struggling to eat healthy.  My brother and his family live with me and there are tons of junk food temptations in my kitchen.  I want the entire household to start eating healthy with me, they can all benefit, but they are resistant.  Any suggestions?

Hi! Great question and topic to discuss.  This topic is a little less about food facts and more about coaching and learning. This is a very common conflict that individuals often face when encountering new dietary changes.  Often times “changes” may need to include family and or friends.  If the people around us not willing to embrace change it may take a little educating regarding food choices and health. Along with a little more self-control on your part, avoiding the “tempting” food items, if they are around.

First question: Who does the shopping in the house?  If everyone is shopping on their own it might make controlling which foods come into the house a bit more challenging.  If one person does the shopping everyone can make a list together and focus on which foods are important for meals and healthy snacks.  As other snack or “junk” items are requested to be on the list, discuss the food label, ingredients and how they may not be the best choice for our health.  Often times all it takes is a little learning about food and what it does for us nutritionally.  Then the person can realize it may not be the best choice and they might want to eat less of it.  Sure it tastes good and maybe that’s part of the struggle.  However, by identifying health benefits and possible negatives in food, might help to avoid it.

Second question: Remember how to read your food labels and control portions sizes?  Having pre-diabetes does not necessarily mean that you have to start counting carbohydrates, but it is important to be aware of how much carbohydrate and fat you are eating over all.  You are at a great risk of developing diabetes so at this point really focus on your portion sizes. Also the amount of food that you put on your plate for both meals and snacks.  Remember that every food we choose to each and depending on the quantity all affects our blood sugar.  If you are really tempted  by food try to limit the portions that you consume, if you must have it.

If the problem is that you don’t want it around, and the family continues to purchase “tempting” food items consider storing your food items in other areas or cabinets. This way you won’t come into contact with these “tempting” food items as frequently.  Follow the “out of sight out of mind strategy”.

My biggest suggestion would be to continue encouraging your family to embrace some dietary changes.  Not only to help you in preventing diabetes, but also helping them to live a healthier lifestyle eventually protecting them against disease and poor health conditions.

* Don’t forget about the importance of physical activity and exercise, along with following a healthful diet.  As I have mentioned in  other postings, this is the point in your life that you can still fight the disease and prevent diabetes from occurring as quickly, if it occurs at all. You CAN prevent it.

Thank you for reading and good luck!

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