How do unhealthy choices affect your family’s health?

As discussed in my new book, The Step Up Diet, too much fat and sugar in your family’s diet will cause long-term health consequences including high-cholesterol and diabetes.

When we drink something with added sugar, our blood sugar rises. When blood sugar rises, it stimulates the pancreas to produce insulin in order to process the sugar. Insulin resistance occurs when the pancreas is over stimulated. By eating too much sugar, we are putting over selves at risk for diabetes! Diabetes shouldn’t be wished upon anyone; especially children.

The low-down on sugar

Now, not all sugars are created equal. The sugar present in fruits and vegetables are mainly carbohydrates or sugars in composition. These sugars don’t become bad until we separate the sugar from the fruit (fruit juice) or adding sugar to other foods. The long-term effects of high sugar levels in the blood can be devastating. The heart begins to suffer, putting the individual at risk for heart attacks. Diabetes even affects the brain, the retina, the kidneys…the list goes on. Thankfully, there is treatment but no cure for diabetes.

Don’t wait until it’s too late. Get your family’s health on track.

If an adult with diabetes could turn the clock back, how far would he or she go to identify the eating habits that kick started their bad habits? My guess is they would go far back into their childhood and see themselves being given a cookie when upset or reaching for a soda when thirsty. It’s not too late to change your eating habits and turn back the clock. If your family has a predisposition to diabetes, you make healthy eating a family priority. The entire family must follow the healthy eating rules, not just the children. You can make healthy eating fun by trying new seasonal vegetables and letting your child suggest healthy lunches and snacks. Your child will enjoy helping you prepare their meals!

In my book, The Step Up Diet, I provide a step-by-step plan to help families experience what it is like to eat the right way, the Step Up Diet teaches the body and the brain to recognize what types of food are healthy to eat, and to establish a healthy eating schedule. By focusing on one step—one segment of the day—at a time, the ultimate goal becomes less overwhelming and more manageable, helping us stay on target with our goals of eating healthier in 2013.

About the Author

Dr. Katalenas

Dr. Katalenas is a pediatrician and owner of The Pediatric Center of Round Rock and the author of the book "The Step Up Diet: From Scratch… The Quality, Quantity, and Timing Solution to Childhood Obesity", a guide to healthy cooking and eating for busy families.