Are we in diabetes denial?

Are we in diabetes denial?

According to Diabetes Australia many of us are unaware that we have diabetes or are heading in that direction.

A recent study at Austin Health, a major tertiary health service in Melbourne’s north-east, found that 34% of patients in our hospitals had diabetes. Surprisingly, 5% of these people had silent, undiagnosed type 2 diabetes that was only detected after they were admitted to hospital. An estimated 500,000 of us are living with silent, undiagnosed diabetes at great risk to our health.

Diabetes Australia's research has shown a worrying level of community antipathy toward type 2 diabetes even though 2 million of us are at high risk. Apparently diabetes 2 rates low in our consideration of our own health despite it being the leading cause of blindness, limb amputation, heart attack and kidney failure. Even though this disease can have a major impact on a person's whole life we think money, meaningful relationships, freedom to travel etc, are more important than managing our health to avoid it.

In type 2 diabetes, your pancreas is still working but not as effectively as it needs to. This means your body is building insulin resistance and is unable to effectively convert glucose into energy leaving too much glucose in the blood. Type 2 diabetes can sometimes initially be managed through changes to lifestyle including a healthy diet and regular exercise.

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One of most important ways to manage or avoid diabetes is to maintain a healthy weight. Being overweight increases your risk of heart disease, stroke and some cancers, it also makes your diabetes harder to manage. Losing 5 to 10 percent of our body weight can make a huge difference. Sometimes this can seem impossible especially if you are time poor, unhealthy or depressed. Sometimes it can be hard to even leave the house. However, surrounding yourself with healthy living kitchen and fitness products and stocking your fridge with only the healthy foods you need can make it easier.

What should we be eating ?

Healthy carbohydrates

During digestion, sugars (simple carbohydrates) and starches (complex carbohydrates) break down into blood glucose. Focus on healthy carbohydrates, such as:

  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Whole grains
  • Legumes, such as beans and peas
  • Low-fat dairy products, such as milk and cheese

Avoid less healthy carbohydrates, such as foods or drinks with added fats, sugars and sodium.

Fiber-rich foods

Dietary fiber includes all parts of plant foods that your body can't digest or absorb. Fiber moderates how your body digests and helps control blood sugar levels. Foods high in fiber include:

  • Vegetables
  • Fruits
  • Nuts
  • Legumes, such as beans and peas
  • Whole grains

vegebox_home_hydroponics

'Good' fats

Foods containing monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats can help lower your cholesterol levels. These include:

  • Avocados
  • Nuts
  • Canola, olive and peanut oils
  • Fish
  • Lean meat

Click here for some of our healthy living recipes.

How to be more active

Diabetes Australia's top recommended exercise is simply walking, what could be easier? If you can't get outside to walk you can use a walking treadmill anytime and in any weather. Vibration platforms have been proven to be an effective means to increase leg blood flow and reduce adiposity (obesity) in patients with type 2 diabetes.

walking treadmill, health,

Remember if you have diabetes or suspect you may it is always important to visit your doctor before embarking on any special diets or exercise programs.

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Cherie Heale