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Study: Most diabetics falling short on healthy eating


NEW YORK Most Americans with diabetes are eating too much fat and sodium, and do not maintain a balanced diet, a new study found.

The results, published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, argued that many people with diabetes may need more education about the importance of nutrition in managing their condition.

Type 2 diabetes is a disorder in which the body can no longer properly use the blood sugar-regulating hormone insulin, usually caused by such conditions as excess weight, hypertension and poor cholesterol profile.

Researchers found that of nearly 2,800 middle- aged and older U.S. adults with Type 2 diabetes, nearly all were exceeding the daily recommended fat intake, and 85% of patients were consuming too much saturated fat, which results in the clogging of arteries.

Additionally, 92% of study participants were consuming too much sodium, which can raise blood pressure and contribute to diabetics' already elevated risks of heart disease and kidney disease.\

Meanwhile, less than half were getting the minimum recommended servings of fruits, vegetables, dairy and grains each day.

"I thought we were going to find people who, because they have a chronic disease, were more educated about and more motivated than the average American to eat healthy, but that's not the case," lead researcher Dr. Mara C. Vitolins, of Wake-Forest University School of Medicine in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, said in a written statement. "The findings clearly illustrate a need to provide ongoing nutrition education for people with diabetes regardless of the amount of time they've had the disease," Vitolins said.

"These people have, within their cupboards and refrigerators, the potential to really manage their diabetes well," she added. "Day to day, the foods they are eating should be considered a vital part of their treatment."

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