Native Americans Returning to Traditional Diet to Combat Diabetes

Native Americans have the highest rates of diabetes in the United States. To become healthy again, many tribes are returning to eating their traditional diets instead of the highly processed foods many of their people eat.

The Oneida Nation, near Green Bay, Wisconsin, has created an organic farm, orchards with thirty-seven varieties of apples, and a cannery. They began raising a herd of buffalo for their meat, which is leaner and healthier than beef.

The Oneida Indian Nation Health Department also began the "Three Sisters Nutrition Project" to improve the health of all Native Americans living in central New York. The Three Sisters are squash, beans, and corn—traditional foods in this region that the Native Americans there consider life-sustaining gifts. When planted together, these three crops also help improve and renew the soil they are grown in, which is another advantage of raising them.

Beans, squash, and corn are at the center of the Oneida Indian Nation Health Department's "Three Sisters Nutrition Project," which promotes the consumption of traditional native foods as part of a healthy diet.

midmorning and midafternoon is a good idea. A bedtime snack can also help regulate glucose levels through the night. Weight control might be more of an issue for people with type 2 diabetes, since most of them are overweight. Even a small weight loss of 10 percent of body weight can play a large role in reducing heart disease.

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