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The Dog is Worth the Diabetic Diet!

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 windmill exercise., Digital ID 1660314, New York Public LibraryReaders of my prior blog posts will already be well versed in the fact that exercise and a healthy diet are not really my forte. Oh, I do perform what I like to regard as "modified calisthenics" when shelving books on the lower and upper shelves of my local library (although I am sure Richard Simmons would likely disagree with my characterization of that duty as officially "exercise"). And I like to think of my escorting a patron to a particular section of the library as "quasi power walking."

However, my recent interaction with the scale (an encounter I dutifully eschew like the plague), along with the medical information I recently read, provided me with a renewed sense of determination to salvage my health. I was in line at my local supermarket, skimming through a magazine with the hand that was not clutching bags of Halloween candy, when, by serendipity, my eyes focused on an article referencing a recent study that revealed that women who tend to carry excess weight in the "front" are more prone to heart disease and diabetes.

Why are sweets like racehorses?, Digital ID 1191054, New York Public LibraryI was suddenly challenged not to regard my protruding girth as a nifty little shelf on which to balance the latest mystery novel I am devouring (sorry — it is difficult not to invoke the use of eating terms!). Combined with the knowledge that there are distinct histories of heart disease and diabetes on my maternal side, the article caused me a momentary sense of panic. My God, if I keeled over suddenly, the hapless victim of a myocardial infarction, WHO would provide my beloved 12 year old dog and my cats with the level of servitude, er, um, I mean, loving care that I dispense to them on a daily basis?! The article continued, elaborating upon the horrendous havoc that may be wreaked on a body by out of control diabetes — amputation of limbs and blindness, for example. The article further elaborated that according to the American Diabetes Association website,"Diabetes kills more people each year than breast cancer and AIDS combined."

Well, I tossed the bags of candy back on the shelf with a force as great as one may muster when one doesn't engage in weight lifting, (hey, the neighborhood kids may be content with different colored pencils from the nearest dollar store). Fortunately, one need not be coerced to decide if an utterly delectable confection is worth risking one's eyesight or shortening one's life span. NYPL contains a plethora of circulating books that contain a wealth of information on managing diabetes, including a substantial number of cookbooks with recipes designed for people with diabetes in mind, but the meals described therein are truly salubrious for virtually everyone. Additionally, it is of potentially enormous benefit for individuals who have not been diagnosed with diabetes to avail themselves of testing to detect the presence of incipient diabetes, as the disease may exist in a person for years prior to being diagnosed. November is National Diabetes Month, and the American Diabetes website contains a quick test that enumerates a series of questions to assess one's Type 2 diabetes risk. With the proliferation of palatable sugar-substitutes on the market, modern medication for diabetes, and testing supplies (for those with medical coverage or the ability to purchase the necessary test strips), diabetes need not represent a metaphorical medical "sword of Damocles" dangling over one's head.

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