Type 2 Diabetes is generally a lifestyle condition for most people. Which means it can be avoided. However, unfortunately if you have developed the condition these 3 preventative measures are a great way for you to manage your condition or for some people even reverse it.
No. 1 – Lose weight. For most people there is a linear relationship with Type 2 Diabetes and Body fat. Losing weight doesn’t have to be the end of the world. You can lose weight and still enjoy life plus you have the bonus of a new body that functions, looks, and outperforms the old one. This has a massive impact on your self-esteem and confidence which makes the journey well worth it.
No.2 – Exercise. Exercise really is magic. You don’t need to be in a gym pumping iron every day to gain significant health benefits. Start by moving more. Remember slow and steady wins the race (to begin with). The benefits to exercise are endless. Reduced blood pressure, a smaller waist size, and managing stress are some of the more important benefits for Type 2. Make sure you raise your heart rate high enough for your exercise to be effective but don’t go too hard too soon. Walking, cycling, and swimming are brilliant forms of exercise but remember to stay consistent.
No.3 – Eat Well. It’s important that you eat a well-balanced diet. When I say balanced I mean one that includes your main food groups which keeps simple sugars right down. These are mainly white sugar or some type of alternative that is added to foods such as confectionaries. Fruit contains a lot of simple natural sugar which has very similar characteristics to simple white refined sugar. Therefore its best to avoid things like smoothes and fruit juices as they can have a lot of fruit sugar and not much fibre.
Fibre which is in starch has many health properties, play an important role in a healthy diet. It contains many nutrients and is great for digestion. Foods such as breads, rice, and pasta are good forms starchy food but try and choose the wholegrain options as these do not raise your blood sugar rapidly.
Protein is also an essential food group. Meat and fish are great protein sources which you should aim to eat every day. Stick to white meat as often as you can as red meat has been linked to heart disease and cancer. Vegetable protein such as nuts, seeds, and pulses also contain protein but they are not as high quality as animal protein. Try using these in your cooking or even to snack on but remember everything has calories so keep it in moderation.
Dairy seems to be a popular staple for a lot of people today especially with all the different choices of cheese available. Dairy products such as cheese, yoghurt, and milk contain calcium which is great for your teeth and bones but not too much cheese.
The main take home message for eating well is to avoid foods that are high in refined sugar. Often these foods also contain too much salt and saturated fat which can also bad for your health. Keep your main food groups balanced so that you are getting your essential nutrients, and go for the wholegrain options of starchy foods.
Therefore eating well and exercise are essential to managing your diabetes. If you are overweight start making a few changes, introduce some new habits, get rid of the old and start enjoying the new you.
Paul Sebo M.Sc