Controlling and Living with Diabetes (24 Nov 2015)
Controlling and Living with Diabetes
Type 2 diabetes is manageable Take action – eat well to control your diabetes
In recent decades, increasing numbers of people across the globe have been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. This rise, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO), is largely driven by overweight, obesity and too little physical activity.
Are you at risk for type 2 diabetes, or have you already been diagnosed with this chronic condition? The reality is that glucose intolerance increases with age, so you may develop this condition as you get older.
World Diabetes Day, on 14 November, gives us the perfect opportunity to revisit the importance of a healthy diet when it comes to preventing and managing type 2 diabetes. Brush up on the facts – and reap the benefits.
Diabetes Awareness Month campaign
This year, the main focus is to educate the public on how we can lower their risk of diabetes deliciously, in conjunction with a healthy lifestyle. Research has shown that magnesium-rich foods can play a big part in lowering your risk of getting diabetes. Through The Three Ingredients Challenge, Mediclinic took it upon themselves to demonstrate to the public how they can make delicious magnesium-rich meals.
General meal guidelines If you have type 2 diabetes, the specialised “beta” cells in your pancreas are able to make insulin; however, they either make too little insulin, or your body can’t use it effectively.
When there isn’t enough of this hormone in your body, or it’s not used as it should be, sugar (or “glucose”) can’t be moved to your other body cells to supply them with energy. This means that you have higher than normal blood glucose levels.
If you have diabetes, you must be careful about what you eat, how much you eat and when you eat, Diabetes South Africa reminds us. Remember, every time you eat, your blood glucose levels increase.
This organisation gives these general eating tips in their informative “Diabetes and you” booklet:
Make your meals more or less the same size.
If you’re overweight, eat smaller meals (large meals can put too much glucose into your blood at one time).
Space your meals evenly throughout the day.
Eat at the same time each day, if possible.
Choose foods wisely In addition to the tips above, experts worldwide also recommend the following dietary guidelines for people with diabetes:
Follow a balanced diet.
Avoid large quantities of sugar and highly processed carbohydrates (cakes, pies, pastries, white rice).
Eat plenty of dietary fibre (brown rice, wholewheat bread, oats, unsifted maize meal, fresh, unpeeled, raw fruits and vegetable, and legumes, such as cooked, dry beans, peas and lentils and meat substitutes made from legumes like soya).
Cut down on fat intake (eat less butter, margarine, oil and mayonnaise; use non-stick pans and non-stick spray for cooking; avoid all fatty food).
Eat less salt (use less salt in cooking; replace salt with other herbs and spices; cut out commercial soups and gravies which have a very high salt content; use a salt substitute).
REMEMBER: Following a healthy diet is only one aspect of diabetes management. Don’t forget to do at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise most days of the week, to quit smoking, to check your blood glucose regularly, and to manage your blood pressure and cholesterol levels!
Mediclinic supports Diabetes Awareness Month by offering free blood pressure and blood glucose screening tests during the month of November.
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