Haile Thomas, 17, has always loved food and cooking. She’s helped her mom out with preparing family meals since she was 5. But her culinary interests took on a new importance at the age of 8, when her dad was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. This disease affects how the body processes sugar and other carbohydrates.
Haile learned that changing her family’s diet could improve her dad’s condition. They started eating more veggies and cutting out sugary drinks and processed food. Soon, her dad’s diabetes was gone—without the use of medication. “That taught me how powerful food can be, both to hurt and to heal,” says Haile.