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THE RELIGION CORNER: Dousing the Flames of the Diabetes Epidemic, Pt. 3

Published online in 2003, this health series has helped hundreds of thousands of people as it has made its rounds worldwide. Many of you probably can relate to this series — you may have Type 2 diabetes, or someone close to you does. Research shows how there are more than 3 million people who have Type 2 diabetes today, or one in every 10 people.

My mother only lived 12 years after her diagnosis of diabetes and through all her extreme complications. Here is the continuation of her story.

For new readers, perhaps this campaign can help you or someone you know. For the past 19 years, helping others to learn what we did not know has been my mission and goal. This campaign kicked off after the loss of my mother who succumbed to Type 2 diabetes on Dec. 25, 2000. Over that 12-year period, due to a lack of knowledge, mother lost both of her legs to amputations, had to have kidney dialysis several times each week and suffered several strokes. This was a surprise to the family — we really didn’t know what was coming our way!

Learn how my family could have avoided this devastation by changing the way our family ate daily. We did not know that by eating little to no sweets, having a low-carbohydrate diet, eating lots of green, raw vegetables, and exercising regularly (30 minutes daily, at least five days per week), we would have produced totally different results!

Let’s talk about the problem. This period in American history dates back to 1790, and for those enslaved ones, food was still scarce, thus the “thrifty genes” protected them. If you research the documentations found on record at the National Archives and Records Administration, you’ll see that slaves received rations in America.

Africans who managed to survive the trip aboard slave ships to America arrived on the shores very strong. The majority of them worked in fields from sunup to sundown, six to seven days a week. They were given what we now call “soul food” but were actually scraps — hog maws, chitterlings, pigtails, pig feet, pig ears — and drank milk from a trough alongside other animals! No longer in our homeland, our people ate whatever was made available to them.

In an effort to create a delicious meal, the women worked at creating recipes they could all enjoy. They loved collard greens with fatback meat; they used lard, and learned to bake sweet potato pies. They cleaned chitterlings and made them into a delicacy to be eaten on special occasions, cooked pots of beans seasoned with ham hocks, pigtails or pig feet, a delicious but harmful tradition that still lives on today. Homemade biscuits from self-rising flour was the norm, made from white flour and lard. They learned to make hush puppies, candied yams, peach and apple cobblers, pies and cakes, all types of potatoes, cornbread, and the list goes on and on.

Though the enslaved ate poorly, they enjoyed it and were able to sustain themselves easily. Why? They didn’t realize it at the time, but due to the physical labor in the fields, 12-16 hours a day from sunup to sundown, the diet did not harm the slaves. The exercise burned off all negative possibilities. Compare our lifestyles today to that of the slaves — you will see what has happened.

Plus, they had the so-called “thrifty genes,” which allowed their bodies to preserve energy in an appropriate manner when food was scarce.

To be continued next week …

Lyndia Grant is a speaker/writer living in the D.C. area. Her radio show, “Think on These Things,” airs Fridays at 6 p.m. on 1340 AM (WYCB), a Radio One station. To reach Grant, visit her website, www.lyndiagrantshow.com, email lyndiagrant@gmail.com or call 240-602-6295. Follow her on Twitter @LyndiaGrant and on Facebook.

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Lyndia Grant

A seasoned radio talk show host, national newspaper columnist, and major special events manager, Lyndia is a change agent. Those who experience hearing messages by this powerhouse speaker are changed forever!

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