Saturday the 14th November is World Diabetes Day, which aims to raise awareness of Diabetes.
Type 2 Diabetes is a serious condition with complications such as eye, nerve and kidney damage. It’s usually seen in people over 40, and is associated with obesity, though more recently it’s being seen in younger people and even children.
Worryingly, Type 2 Diabetes also makes you five times more likely to develop heart disease. The good news is that it’s largely preventable and Heart Research UK has some useful advice to help you ward off your risk of Type 2 Diabetes:
Keep Active - Aim for 30 minutes of moderate activity five days per week which will help to regulate your blood glucose, improve circulation and lower your blood pressure.
Stick to a Healthy Balanced Diet - Base your meals on starchy foods such as potatoes, rice, pasta and bread, choosing wholegrain where you can. These foods will provide energy, along with B vitamins and heart-healthy fibre
Aim to eat a rainbow of fruit and veg each day, as different colours provide different benefits.
Eat more fish, and make sure at least one portion a week is oily fish such as salmon, sardines, mackerel or fresh tuna.
Cut down on sugar and saturated fat – check traffic light food labels when you’re shopping and try to choose ‘green’ options for these foods.
Watch your portion sizes and avoid over-eating by waiting 20 minutes before going back for seconds.
Keep your alcohol consumption within the guideline limits 2-3 units per day for women and 3-4 units per day for men.
Watch that Waistline - Keep your waist circumference below 32 inches if you are a woman, and less than 37 inches if you are a man. Take extra care if you are ‘apple’ shaped to keep your waistline trim.
Symptom Savvy - If you’re over 40, take advantage of the free health checks at your GP surgery and don’t ignore common symptoms of diabetes which include:
Needing the toilet more often than usual; Frequent or excessive thirst; Feeling more tired than usual; Unexplained weight loss
By keeping active, eating well and keeping your weight and your waistline in check, your risk of developing type 2 diabetes and heart disease will be greatly reduced and help you to enjoy a healthier, happier, longer life.