It's National Diabetes week from Sunday until Saturday, June 17, and this year the theme is ‘Know Diabetes Fight Diabetes’.
There are currently 4.5 million people in the UK living with the condition, and 11.9 million more at risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.
I’m hoping that people will use the week to start to make lifestyle changes they need to prevent becoming one of those statistics.
Around 90 per cent of people with diabetes have Type 2. It can be hard to reverse and manage, but it is possible to prevent through making some lifestyle change.
Whether you already have Type 2 diabetes or are at risk through being overweight, you need to understand how you can prevent developing it and all the health issues that come with the condition.
Here are my six tips to prevent Type 2 Diabetes:
1.MANAGE YOUR WEIGHT
Excess body fat, especially around the belly, can increase the body’s resistance to insulin and this can lead to Type 2 diabetes.
2. EXERCISE REGULARLY
Around six to 10 hours of physical activity through the week helps manage weight, speed up your metabolism, reduce blood glucose levels and may also improve blood pressure and cholesterol.
3. CUT OUT SUGARY SOFT DRINKS
Sugary drinks have a high glycemic load, and drinking more of this sugary stuff is associated with increased risk of diabetes. In the Nurses’ Health Study II, women who drank one or more sugar-sweetened beverages per day had an 83 per cent higher risk of Type 2 diabetes, compared towomen who drank less than one sugar-sweetened beverage per month.
4. REDUCE PORTION SIZE
You may think you eat healthily but are you keeping an eye on your portion sizes too? If your portion sizes aren’t right, your weight and your blood glucose control will be harder to manage. A good meal should consist of vegetable and protein and a small amount of good carbohydrates. Make sure your plate isn’t piled high with food.
Tobacco use can increase blood sugar levels and lead to insulin resistance. The more you smoke, the greater your risk of diabetes. Heavy smokers — those who smoke more than 20 cigarettes a day — almost double their risk of developing diabetes, when compared with non-smokers.
6. FOLLOW A LOW SUGAR DIET
Diets low in refined sugars will help you avoid Type 2 diabetes because they help you with weight loss and glucose management. A low sugar diet will also reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. I would encourage you to eat more vegetables, fruits, wholegrains, pulses, seafood and nuts. But, eat less red meat and processed meat, sugar-sweetened drinks, sugar-sweetened foods, and refined grains such as white bread.
* If you would like more help with a low sugar diet then you can download my free 7-Day Meal Plan at www.eastcoast-fitness.com
YOUR TRAINER: Graham Low, owner of East Coast Fitness, is an award winning personal trainer based in Seaham. The ex-professional footballer was nominated for the Small Business of the Year and Leisure Awards at the Sunderland Echo Portfolio Awards last year. Graham won the Leisure Award at the North East Hotels Association Awards while working as gym manager at Seaham Hall in 2012. For personal training, boot camps, small group training and online programmes email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.eastcoast-fitness.com