With the busy lives we lead as part of a fast-paced society, traditional full meals are often skipped. What was once a dinner of carrots, turnips, beets, chicken, and potatoes is now a sandwich eaten with one hand while the other is busy typing on a computer keyboard. And this from one end of the planet to the other. No wonder that since the 1980s, the number of people worldwide suffering from diabetes has increased from 108 million to 463 million. There is no need to feel guilty, it is better to act and thus prevent it, manage it, and prevent complications. Because in most cases, type II diabetes can be prevented. Let’s see what we can do to achieve this.
TYPE 2 DIABETES
But first, what is type 2 diabetes?
In a few words, type II diabetes is the most common type of diabetes (90% of diabetes cases are type II). It is mostly found in people aged 40 and over.
Type II diabetes occurs when insulin production is insufficient or when the body is not able to use the insulin produced by the pancreas. Insulin is a hormone that keeps the blood sugar level high, a bit like drawers that store clothes. The number of drawers (insulin) being insufficient or not working as well in the diabetic person, the result is that the clothes (sugar) end up on the floor. The result is an increase in the blood sugar level.
WHAT CAN BE THE CONSEQUENCES OF UNCONTROLLED DIABETES?
Over time, high blood sugar levels lead to uncontrolled diabetes. Uncontrolled diabetes can damage the heart, blood vessels, eyes, kidneys, and nerves. Therefore, the risk of heart problems is 2 to 4 times higher than in the non-diabetic population.
WHAT ARE THE MAIN FACTORS THAT PUT US AT RISK OF DEVELOPING TYPE 2 DIABETES?
Often, it is several of these factors combined:
- An increasing waistline
- Being overweight
- A diet that does not suit our lifestyle, often fatty and sweet or simply too generous.
- Physical inactivity
- A genetic predisposition (a parent or grandparent suffering from diabetes)
YES, WE CAN OVERCOME IT BY PREVENTING DIABETES OR BY MANAGING IT, ONE STEP AT A TIME, WITH THE HELP OF A HEALTH PROFESSIONAL. HERE ARE MY 5 SUGGESTIONS:
To get there, I don’t need to tell you that a good dose of patience and perseverance are the basic ingredients. It is normal and predictable that changes take place over a long period of time, slowly but surely, as they say. The key is to persevere and congratulate yourself on each victory.
Here are 5 possibilities for change, choose one to start with:
- Eat better, for example add vegetables to your plate.
- Reduce your waistline and weight progressively thanks to personalized advice from your nutritionist.
- Regularly practice a physical activity that you enjoy.
- Stop smoking to avoid complications.
- Meet with your nurse and doctor for diagnosis and treatment.
An American study shows a 58% reduction in the risk of developing diabetes in people who made permanent changes in their lifestyle. To achieve this, participants gradually reduced their waistline, lost 5 to 7% of their weight (for a person weighing 180 pounds, this is a loss of 9 to 12 pounds) and started exercising (walking, dancing, or cycling…) 30 minutes 5 days a week.
THE BEST TIME IS NOW!
Don’t wait to take charge, the time to act is now! You can do it! And if you want personalized advice, I am here to guide you!
In fact, I’m hosting a 3-part series on concrete and easy-to-implement dietary changes, including reading nutrition labels, preparing nutritious meals and integrating the Mediterranean diet.
For inspiration, here is a picture of Luc, a 62-year-old man who took his health in hand by eating better and avoiding type II diabetes.