This month, the Frederick County Diabetes Coalition is throwing down the gauntlet, challenging area restaurants to serve the best meal that meets criteria set by the American Association of Diabetes Educators, the American Diabetes Association and the National Cholesterol Education Program.
Frederick restaurants accepting this first-of-its-kind challenge include Acacia, Brewer’s Alley, Café 611, Café Anglais, Firestone’s Culinary Tavern and La Paz. Each restaurant submitted menu items which were analyzed by a Registered Dietician to ensure they have 550 calories or less, 45-60 grams of carbohydrate, 750 mg of sodium or less, no more than 18 grams of fat (including no more than 5 grams of saturated fat), and 0 grams of trans fat.
Throughout the month of November (which is American Diabetes Month), diners who select these healthy meals will be asked to rate them. The restaurant with the highest-rated dish will win an award to put on display and diners who submit meal reviews will be eligible to win prizes.
In a world of fast food, constant temptation and delicious meals heavy on calories, carbs, sodium and fat, it can be hard to stay on the dietary straight and narrow. According to data from the American Diabetes Association, nearly 18 million Americans have been diagnosed with diabetes with another 5.7 million undiagnosed. A staggering 57 million people have what’s referred to as “pre-diabetes“, which means their blood glucose levels are higher than normal, but not high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes.
Diabetes is also the seventh-leading cause of death in the United States. Complications include high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, blindness, kidney disease, nervous system disease and amputation.
Right here in Western Maryland, we spend $287,800,000 annually on the direct medical costs of diabetes and lose $140,200,000 in productivity to the disease. That’s a yearly total of $428,000,000.
The point here is that diabetes is a serious disease, both in terms of your health and the costs to manage it — but you can decrease your risk by eating healthier along with other lifestyle changes. Take the first step and let Frederick’s restaurants show you how good a healthy meal can be!