Having diabetes doesn’t mean you’re doomed to a future of tasteless food. That’s the message celebrity chef and type 2 diabetic Art Smith wants to share with other people with diabetes.
Smith, the former personal chef to celebrities and past contestant on the hit shows "Top Chef Masters" and "Iron Chef America," was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in 2008. It was a wake up call for Smith, who had seen both his father and grandfather die of complications from the disease.
Smith worked with his doctor to develop a personalized diabetes-management plan. He started exercising and began eating healthier, learning simple ways to make some of his favorite dishes more diabetes-friendly.
“When I was diagnosed I weighed more than 325 pounds,” Smith said. “By working with my doctor and sticking to my plan, I was able to lose more than 100 pounds and help get my diabetes under control. It was amazing the profound affect it made on my overall health.”
Now, Smith has teamed up with pharmaceutical company Merk on “Taking Diabetes to Heart,” an educational program to help people living with type 2 diabetes better manage the disease. Smith will be traveling the country sharing some of his favorite diabetes-friendly recipes and tips for diabetes management. Smith will also be challenging local restaurants and food trucks in select cities to make at least one of their menu items diabetes-friendly.
"As a chef living with type 2 diabetes, I know that managing the way you eat is critical and can be difficult, but it doesn't have to be," Smith said.
13 tips from Chef Art Smith
- Talk to your doctor and get a plan and goals that work for you.
- Good quality eating is almost always food that’s simple, in its purest form, without a lot of ingredients.
- Take small steps.
- Cut back on how often you eat out.
- Eat Greek yogurt.
- Have a cheat day. Sunday is my cheat day.
- Go for a long walk.
- Seek help when you need it.
- Get lots of sleep.
- Stay hydrated.
- Keep a bowl of apples in kitchen.
- Throw out stuff in the kitchen that will tempt you.
- Keep people around you who are less likely to make you want to cheat.
The campaign’s website includes some of Art’s diabetes-friendly recipes, information about how restaurants and food trucks in your area are participating in the program, and more resources, such as tips on cooking and grocery shopping.
Here's a bonus: Smith shared one of his favorite diabetes-friendly recipes with us here: Chef Art Smith's Unfried Chicken with Roasted Brussels Sprouts. Try it out and let us know what you think in the comments below!