Diabetes Prevention:Tips for a Healthy Lifestyle
What comes easy, doesn't last, and a thing of value takes time" - Dt. Safa Hawai
What is Diabetes?
When our body doesn't make enough insulin it causes too much glucose in the blood stream. Or in some cases the cells become resistant to insulin which means insulin is being produced but not being used efficiently.
These could be due to genetic or environmental factors.
Few possible risk factors for diabetes -
Less or no physical activity
Runs in family
Tips to manage Diabetes or to lead a healthy lifestyle
• Make your own food-
You cannot go wrong with veggies so add lots of them to your plate. Once you make it a habit to prepare your own food, you'll find it therapeutic and you also get to know exactly what ingredients and how much has gone into a dish. Eating healthy is for everyone, so no need to prepare separate food for your family & you.
• Sweat it out
Being active is the best to manage and prevent diabetes, and it's free. Count your steps, climb stairs or go on a walk. Instead of a food date, try a hiking or trekking date with your friend.
Managing stress is the key. Try walking/ yoga/ meditation and unwind your entangled thoughts. It helps control a lot of hormones than you would imagine.
• Prioritize health-
Invest in regular health check-ups and healthy groceries, and learn about diabetes management. Time & money spent on health isn't an expenditure but an investment for life.
Remember, there is no "One size fits all" in nutrition. So it's important to consult a Clinical Dietitian who has expertise in the field of disease &/or disorders and can provide Medical Nutrition Therapy (MNT).
Don't fall for fad diets or any misleading scams of losing weight in a short time span. Remember, "What comes easy, doesn't last, and a thing of value takes time" - Dietitian Safa Hawai
Some facts about Diabetes
Carbohydrates alone will cause a spike in glucose
Carbohydrates must be eaten with protein and fat.
Carbohydrates aren't just bread and pasta. Veggies, legumes, and fruits are predominantly carbohydrates but are nutrient-rich, so the type differs.
Refined sugar/maple syrup/coconut sugar/honey will still cause glucose spikes because it is all different types of sugar.
Simple takeaway message
1) Include whole grains like barley, brown rice, True Elements Rolled Oats or True Elements No Added Sugar Muesli
2) Replace sugar with a non-caloric sweetener like stevia, so you don't have to completely give up on dessert at least for special occasions.
3) Include lots of fibre. Fill half your plate with veggies. Look for more options high in fibre like True Elements Steel Cut Oats
4) Include lean meat like fish instead of red meats like beef or pork. Fish are good sources of omega-3 fatty acids. You can even add True Elements 7-in-1 Seeds mix for healthy fat.
5) Eat the rainbow - add more colours through fruits and veggies and avoid packaged foods with preservatives and trans fat.
6) Stay Hydrated - limit caffeine. Add celery juice or cucumber sticks to stay on your healthy food options. Hit that 1-litre bottle in each part of your day.
Healthy eating, exercise, stress management and hydration are four components that help muscle cells use glucose and insulin more efficiently and help attain optimal weight thereby lowering diabetes risk.
With the right approach, one can prevent, manage or even reverse Diabetes. So be patient and give all your heart to following Medical Nutrition Therapy.
Authored By: Safa Hawai
Certified Dietitian & Diabetes Educator