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Diabetes: Preventative measures

There’s a lot to learn about diabetes. It’s an unfortunate illness that can’t always be prevented. For example, according to the International Diabetes Federation, type 1 diabetes cannot be prevented as they are environmental triggers that are thought to be the cause whereby they destroy the body’s insulin-producing cells. However, there are studies that show one can delay, and even prevent, type 2 diabetes. 
Influential factors are mainly related to lifestyle behaviours that are generally associated with urbanization. Studies have shown that modifying our lifestyles by including physical activity and a healthy diet can help to delay or prevent type 2 diabetes. Below are some ways that research has shown can help us to achieve this.

Physical activity

Aim to participate in a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity per week (similar intensity to brisk walking). This can include indoor and outdoor activities- Whatever you feel most comfortable doing.

Body weight

Maintain a reduction of 5-7% body fat. An easy way to do this at home is by getting a ‘smart scale’ that indicates your weight and a range of body composition statistics including your body fat percentage.

Behavioural intervention

If you’re struggling to maintain healthy habits on your own or you need more specific tactics if your current behaviour isn’t achieving the results that you’re looking for, ask your doctor about lifestyle coaching and individual case management to tailor a program that will work for you.

Healthy diet

The International Diabetes Federation also recommends a few adjustments to our diets that can be beneficial in achieving a healthy lifestyle:
  • Opt for water, coffee, or tea instead of soda, fruit juice, or other sweetened beverages.
  • Eat at least three servings of vegetables every day (including leafy greens).
  • Eat up to three servings of fresh fruit daily.
  • As a snack, reach for nuts, fresh fruit, or unsweetened yogurt.
  • Limit alcohol to a maximum of two standard drinks per day.
  • Choose lean white meat, seafood, or poultry instead of processed or red meat.
  • Replace jam and chocolate spread with peanut butter.
  • Instead of white bread, rice, or pasta, go for the whole-grain version of each.
  • Substitute saturated fats (butter, ghee, coconut or palm oil, and animal fat) with unsaturated fats (olive, canola, corn, or sunflower oil).
It’s always difficult to change a lifestyle that’s become comfortable, but remember that practice makes perfect, and your body will thank you for it in the long run. 
We hope that this can help you to lead a healthier lifestyle! If you’d like to reach out to us, get in touch because we’d love to hear from you.