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Winona Health offers free diabetes expo Saturday (10/23/2013)
By Jen Burris
Just 30 minutes of activity each day can reduce the onset of diabetes in pre-diabetics, or those suffering from high blood sugar, by 58 percent, according to research done by U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Diabetes Prevention Program. This is just one of the many facts and ideas that will be presented during the Winona Area Diabetes Expo on Saturday, October 26.

The event starts at 9 a.m. and will run until about 12:30 p.m. Some of the topics discussed will be: exercise at home, managing diabetes on a limited budget, managing pre-diabetes, and healthy eating. Winona Health, in collaboration with area Lions Clubs, invite not just diabetics, but all area residents to learn more about managing diabetes in all areas of life.

Most people have someone in their lives — a family member, or a friend — with diabetes, said Winona Health Registered Dietician and Certified Diabetes Educator Sue Haug said. It’s important to know how to prevent complications that diminish quality of life, she added. Haug will present ways to manage pre-diabetes to attendees of the event.

Haug, who has had experience counseling patients of all ages, noted that there is often a disconnect, especially in her younger patients, of where food is coming from and how it’s prepared, adding that the human digestive tract does not fare well with processed foods. Many vital nutrients are lost in processed foods.

Haug explained that healthy eating can be done on a budget; it’s about substituting unhealthy purchases for healthy purchases. Haug suggests swapping potato chips for vegetables; even small changes can be beneficial to one’s health.

Haug also recommends focusing on one thing at a time when establishing a new healthy habit, before adding something else.

Movement is another important aspect of managing health, especially in pre-diabetics. From pre-schoolers to elderly patients, muscles need regular activity.

“Our body works best when our muscles continue to work on a regular, daily basis,” Haug explained.

Adults should have 30 minutes a day of activity, five to seven days a week, while children need 30 to 60 minutes of activity each day. The activities may vary by age, but there is an energy balance in everyone; it’s all about the calories taken in and the calories put out, Haug added.

The expo includes a healthy cooking demonstration, which will allow guests to watch a demonstrator cook a healthy meal and sample it as well.

The first 125 participants through the door will receive a gift bag that includes a cook booklet with healthy recipes.

Those who are interested, but unable to attend may contact tele-medicine coordinator, Jenelle O’Donnell, at jeodonnell@winonahealth.org, to view the programs live via a computer. The event is free and no registration is required.  


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