National Diabetes Week 8-14 July is an opportunity to raise awareness around this disease.
Poor food choices are posing a very real threat to our lives and are a recipe for lifestyle-related illnesses. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death in Australia and is a factor in 10 per cent of all deaths. Research indicates that 60 per cent of cases are preventable.
Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease which is not preventable, however type 2 diabetes is often preventable through simple lifestyle changes.
It’s estimated that half a million Australians are walking around with diabetes and by the time they get diagnosed they could have irreversible damage. Did you know that people with diabetes are 15 times more likely to undergo amputations than people without the condition – 15 times more likely! I don’t know about you, but for me the choice between healthy food and facing the very real possibility of amputation, blindness or kidney failure seems like a no-brainer.
Prevention starts in the kitchen
The food that you’re eating is a good predictor of your future health. Take a look in your pantry and fridge – do they contain food that supports a healthy lifestyle or are they filled with food that is having a detrimental effect on your long-term health?
Maintaining a healthy weight considerably reduces the likelihood of developing type 2 diabetes and other lifestyle-related diseases. And the good news is, my recipes and Breakfast Shakes are suitable for anyone wanting to improve their health. I have over 700 delicious recipes in my cookbooks and there’s also complete 28-day menu plans in books 5 and 6 that take the guesswork out of what it means to eat healthy food.
5 simple tips to improve your health
- Switch to low fat dairy to reduce saturated fats
- Eliminate high sugar soft drinks – choose water
- Get your 5 serves of salad and veggies and 2-3 serves of fruit each day
- Choose lean protein to further reduce saturated fats
- Reduce your portion sizes
Those most at risk of type 2 diabetes are overweight people over the age of 45, with high blood pressure and a family history of diabetes, heart disease or heart attack. Women who have had gestational diabetes and Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome are also prime candidates.
Signs and symptoms of type 2 diabetes include things like excessive thirst, frequent urination, always feeling tired, constant hunger, blurred vision and moodiness.
Some final thoughts
I hope these cold hard facts are enough to get you to clean out your pantry and fridge and take a really good look at your food choices. You don’t have to change everything today – by making changes gradually you will be more likely to stick with it. Continue to make small changes day by day, week by week and you’ll reduce your likelihood of lifestyle related diseases and increase your life expectancy. You’ll be so glad you did.