6 Black Influencers to Follow for Healthy-Eating Inspiration

Mila Clarke Buckley lived with a type 2 diabetes diagnosis for four years before learning in August 2020 that she actually had another type of diabetes: latent autoimmune diabetes in adults (LADA). She wants people to know that a diabetes-friendly diet doesn’t have to be boring or leave one feeling “hangry” (a state of irritability that can result from a dip in blood glucose).

That’s why she shares such delectable images with her 37,000 Instagram followers and visitors to her Hangry Woman blog. Her recipe posts for grilled fish tacos and Jamaican jerk chicken wings are accompanied by mouthwatering photos.

Type 2 diabetes results when the body cannot properly process insulin, causing blood sugar (glucose) to rise too high. LADA, on the other hand, is an autoimmune disease that is similar to type 1 diabetes, in which the body’s immune system attacks and destroys the cells that make insulin — which is why it’s also known as type 1.5 diabetes. LADA tends to happen later in life and much more gradually than type 1 diabetes.

People with any form of diabetes can experience blood sugar dips that produce that hangry feeling, also known as hypoglycemia. But rather than coming off as irritable, Buckley, a Houston resident, has a gregarious persona to match her blog’s mission, which she says is “to help people with diabetes feel less alone in their management but to also show them that you can live a happy, healthy life with diabetes and enjoy your favorite foods.”

She says her new diagnosis won’t change that mission. “I lived with a type 2 diabetes diagnosis for four years — that includes the feeling of shame, stigma, and being judged for what other people deemed my fault, and lack of access to the tools that would help me manage diabetes best. Although my [diagnosis] changed, it doesn’t take away any of those experiences, and it doesn’t mean that I experience them less. To me, it means having the opportunity to bridge the gap a bit more, and help all people with diabetes understand each other.”

Buckley includes recipes for those who follow a ketogenic or “keto” diet, but before you try them, check with your doctor to make sure the regimen is right for you. If you take oral diabetes medication, the diet may increase your risk of hypoglycemia, and this high-fat, low-carb diet can pose other health risks to some. Plus, more studies are needed before keto can be recommended for everyone with type 2 diabetes.

Buckley’s personal favorite blog post is titled, “Diabetes Is Not a Joke,” and it takes aim at the stigma that can be attached to the disease because of its link to diet. “People often think diabetes deserves to be a punch line, but it’s more serious than the jokes it often sets off,” she says.

RELATED: What People With Type 2 Diabetes Must Know About the Keto Diet

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