Diabetes is a chronic illness that causes a person’s blood sugars to become too high; there are two main types – Type 1 and Type 2. The hormone called insulin controls the level of sugar in the blood and the pancreas produces this hormone. Type 2 diabetes is a more common lifestyle illness that can be managed through healthy eating and regular exercise, while Type 1 diabetes is managed through medication. But what else is there to know about living with diabetes?
Diet and Diabetes
Eating an exclusion diet, lacking in the right levels of fat or sugar is not a cure to diabetes because of the detrimental effects it can have on your body. If you are excluding carbohydrates from your diet, the body will not receive the required amount, affecting its ability to process sugar through the insulin system. This can lead to insulin resistance, which is precursor to Type 2 diabetes. Likewise, if your diet contains too much of a certain type of food such as sugar, protein and fats, this could also lead to being prone to diabetes.
Fitness and Diabetes
Maintaining a fitness routine can help delay the onset of chronic illnesses such as diabetes – the New York Times reported. The study carried out in the US found that being fit, especially when you are middle-aged, can help to reduce the time you live with chronic illness including diabetes. This resulted in those who were fit or regularly training at this age only had the illness, typically for the last five years of their life – rather than 10, 15 or even 20 years for those who where unfit. Walking is a great form of exercise to plan into your daily activities if you are not looking for a full workout and to keep you sitting for as less time as possible. Walking regularly will not only delay the onset of this illness, but it can also help you control diabetes as part of a healthy lifestyle.
Vitamin D and Diabetes
The relationship between Vitamin D and diabetes is important, although not always highly recognised. Vitamin D aids the function of the pancreas. The pancreas is responsible for the production of insulin and is a major factor in controlling diabetes. It therefore requires Vitamin D to do this work in regards to diabetes. It is also important to remember this in December, as our Vitamin D levels are lower in the winter when there is less sunlight.
Diabetes Food Swaps
Having diabetes should not stop you from having and enjoying some tasty snacks. There are many alternatives to your favourite treats or you can simply enjoy some healthy food.
Here are some of our favourite ides for healthy tasty treats:
- A small portion of fruit – an apple, 1 peach, handful of blueberries
- Light cheese and a few tomatoes
- Rice or crisp breads topped with cottage cheese, chicken or ham
- Sliced edam cheese and apple
- 25mg of almonds or toasted seed mix
Coffee can be a great mood booster and can improve mental alertness. But did you know that it can also protect against Type 2 diabetes? Drink with caution though, and limit to about 300mg, once a day – and try to avoid the sugary, milky coffee drinks.
When it comes a diabetic diet, you can also try our handy food swaps:
- Instead of fried crisps, try the baked version or plain popcorn
- Swap milk chocolate for dark chocolate rice cakes
- Swap refined white grains such as white pasta to whole grain – the fibre slows down the digestive process
If you are concerned about this or your how your diet is affecting your lifestyle, we can offer our services. Our CCH Live Nutritional Therapy Consultations focus on your nutrition goals, providing tailored strategies to deal with your specific issues, such as type 2 diabetes. Our nutritional therapist offers you support to change and improve your health through your ideas and attitudes towards food.
Book your free 15 minutes consultation today!
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