Barbara Burke

Good For You

By Barbara Burke

Wednesday, November 3, 1999

Ignorance not bliss

EVERY 24 hours, 75 Americans will lose their eyesight and 150 more will have an amputation because of diabetes. The illness also increases the risk of kidney disease, heart disease, and stroke.

There are an estimated 93,000 people in Hawaii who have diabetes. Yet, only about half of these individuals know that they have the disease, according to the Hawaii State Department of Health. Diabetes is a growing problem for Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. It is the fourth leading cause of death among Native Hawaiians.

People whose family members have diabetes are at greater risk for the disease. Also, people who are obese, who eat a high fat diet, and who are physically inactive are more likely to develop Type 2 (adult-onset) diabetes. Contrary to what many people believe, diabetes is not caused by eating too much sugary food.

Diet, exercise and medication are three essential components in managing diabetes, according to Monica Wong, a certified diabetes educator at Castle Medical Center. Diabetics must choose a suitable diet and be consistent about their food choices. Regular physical activity, such as walking, is also important. Medications should be taken on schedule, as directed by their physician.

NOVEMBER, American Diabetes Month, offers many opportunities to learn more about diabetes:

Bullet "Nutrition, Diabetes and Weight Control" is a free seminar led by Monica Wong on Nov. 10 from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at the Castle Center for Health Promotion, 46-001 Kamehameha Hwy. Whether you have diabetes or need help with weight control, discover how to tap into the power of healthy foods. Call 263-5400 for reservations.

Bullet "Diabetes, Strategizing for the Holidays" is a free workshop for people with diabetes and their families on Saturday, Nov. 20, from 7:30 a.m. to noon at Kuakini Auditorium, 347 N. Kuakini. Topics will include the latest in diabetes research, stress management for the holidays, holiday meal planning and healthy cooking. Call 947-5979 to register.

The National Diabetes Education Program will be kicked off in Hawaii this month. One of the program's major goals is to bring together national, state and community organizations to increase public awareness about diabetes.

For additional information, stop by the new office of the American Diabetes Association, Hawaii Area, at 1500 S. Beretania, Suite 111, or call 947-5979.

The following was adapted from a recipe by Robyn Webb, found on the American Diabetes Association's website at


4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth, divided
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup minced red onion
1/2 cup diced carrot
1 cup pearled barley
1/2 cup diced zucchini
2 Tbsp minced Italian parsley
1 tsp olive oil
1 Tbsp lemon juice
Fresh ground pepper and salt to taste

1. Heat 1/4 cup of the broth in a saucepan over medium high heat. Add the garlic and onion and saute for 5 minutes. Add the carrots and saute for another 5 minutes.

2. Add the rest of the broth and bring to a boil. Add the barley, lower the heat, cover, and simmer until the liquid is almost absorbed, about 50 minutes.

3. Add zucchini, parsley, oil, lemon juice. Simmer 5 minutes. Season with pepper and salt. Makes 6 (1/2-cup) servings.

Approximate nutritional information per serving (without added salt): 190 calories, 1 g total fat, no sat fat, no chol, 180 mg sodium. Exchanges: 2 starch*

Health Calendar

Barbara Burke is a Hawaii-Pacific University instructor
who has been teaching and writing about food
and nutrition since 1975.

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