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How-To: Get Kids Eating Healthfully

  Nowhere is the diabetes epidemic growing faster than in children.  Children are being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes at rates never before dreamed possible, fueled by pediatric obesity, which is quickly reaching epidemic proportions. The NIH reports the percentage of children with type 2 diabetes has increased from less than 5 percent before 1994 to 30 to 50 percent in subsequent years. 

  Dr. Barry Sears, researcher and scientist, and author of The New York Times’ best-seller The Zone, offers tips to help stop diabetes in its tracks:

—Out of sight, out of mouth and mind: Grab any processed starch you can find (breakfast cereals, crackers, pasta, bread, bagels, muffins, cookies, cake, breadsticks, granola bars, and so on) and throw them in the trash. Do the same for products that are rich in sugar and dangerous fats. These items are the worst offenders when it comes to raising insulin levels.

—Fill up your newly bare kitchen with low glycemic-load carbohydrates such as fruits and vegetables, as well as the right kinds of protein (chicken, fish, low-fat dairy) and fat (olive oil, nuts, avocado, etc.).

—Now that you have the right foods in the kitchen, plan to eat five times a day (three meals and two snacks).  To keep blood sugar stable, never let more than five hours go by without eating.

—Divide your plate into three equal sections.  Cover one-third of the plate with some low-fat protein no bigger than the palm of your hand.  Fill the rest of the plate with colorful low glycemic carbohydrates, and add a dash of mono-unsaturated fat.  

   By following these steps, you have created eating habits that will help children (and the whole family) maintain stable insulin levels for four to six hours.  Being in this “Zone” means you’re using incoming calories for energy instead of storing them as fat. 

BARRY SEARS, Ph.D., is a leader in the field of dietary control of hormonal response. A former research scientist at the Boston University School of Medicine and MIT, he has authored 11 books on his Zone technology. His insight into the hormonal consequences of diet has been confirmed by numerous published studies, many of them conducted at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Sears continues his research in treating heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and neurological disorders as president of Zone Labs, a biotechnology company in Danvers, Mass.

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