Type 2 Diabetes : Understand and Minimise Your Risk on World Diabetes Day
Type 2 Diabetes is on the increase.
World Diabetes Day
In light of World Diabetes Day, it’s crucial we address this escalating global issue, especially its impact in the UK. According to Diabetes UK, an estimated 5 million people in the UK are living with diabetes, many undiagnosed. A large proportion of these cases are type 2 diabetes, primarily influenced by diet and lifestyle.
As a nutritionist, I encounter many clients on the borderline of developing full-blown type 2 diabetes. It’s startling to realise that one in 14 people in the UK are dealing with this condition. Unlike type 1 diabetes, an autoimmune disease, type 2 is largely preventable and manageable through lifestyle changes.
Type 2 Diabetes
Type 2 diabetes occurs when blood glucose levels remain consistently high. This imbalance can lead to insulin resistance, where cells no longer respond effectively to insulin, causing glucose to stay high in the bloodstream. Over time, this can strain the pancreas and escalate into a serious health issue.
What drives this glucose spike? The answer lies in our diet. Foods rich in simple sugars and carbohydrates – including sweets, chocolates, bread, pasta, potatoes, and even seemingly healthy fruits and juices – can significantly raise blood sugar levels. Even hidden sugars in processed foods contribute to this issue.
Combatting Type 2 Diabetes
Combatting type 2 diabetes involves a comprehensive look at our diet and lifestyle. Here are some fundamental steps to consider:
- Protein Intake: Ensure adequate protein in every meal. Proteins help you feel full and reduce the tendency to snack on sugary or carb-heavy foods.
- Carbohydrate Choices: Be mindful of carbohydrate sources. Opt for whole grains and limit simple sugars and processed carbs.
- Healthy Fats: Include sources like nuts, seeds, and avocados. These fats help slow down sugar absorption into the bloodstream.
- Reducing Snacking: Frequent snacking can cause blood sugar spikes. Aim for balanced meals to sustain you longer.
- Movement: Regular movement throughout the day helps regulate blood sugar levels. This doesn’t mean intense workouts but rather consistent, gentle activity.
- Stress Management: High stress can impact blood sugar levels. Find ways to manage stress through deep breathing, walking, or activities that relax you.
For those living with or borderline type 2 diabetes, these steps, alongside medical guidance, can significantly improve your condition. Remember, it’s about taking control of your health and not becoming a statistic in the growing numbers of diabetes cases.
I hope these insights offer a clearer understanding of type 2 diabetes and practical ways to prevent it.
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