How Chef Art Smith Conquers Type 2 Diabetes

A whole life makeover is this chef’s recipe for diabetes success.

Melba Newsome
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Hit the sack
“I stopped drinking diet soda and cut back on coffee because I wasn’t getting enough sleep,” says Art, who was known to go through a case of cola a day! “Now, I get eight hours and have more energy.”

Why it works: A study in the Annals of Internal Medicine found that when dieters cut back on their sleep, only one-fourth of their weight loss came from fat. They also felt hungrier, since sleep loss increased levels of ghrelin, a hormone that triggers hunger and reduces energy expenditure.

Eat something else!
“I cooked all of these low-fat foods for other people but never took it on board for myself before,” says Art, who’s famous for his down-home dishes like fried chicken, mac ’n cheese and hoecakes. “Now I drink plenty of water, eat oatmeal or Greek yogurt with fruit for breakfast and some type of salad with protein for lunch. I snack on raw almonds instead of potato chips. I love fresh fruit—I’d never eaten apples before!”

Why it works: Ditching junk food and getting more of your calories from unprocessed nutrient-rich foods like nuts, fruits, veggies and whole grains is not just a key to weight loss, but also to better health: A 2011 European study found that consuming an extra daily serving of fruits and vegetables shrank the risk of fatal cardiovascular disease by 4%. 

April 2013