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Preventing Type 2 Diabetes

Ways to prevent type 2 diabetes

When I give health presentations, type 2 diabetes is in that section I discuss called ‘Serious disease’s, but somehow, because it’s now so common, many people are considering this to be a so called ‘normal’ illness. Well, it’s not! There are many factors involved here, such as lifestyle and hereditary factors, but there are a lot of things you can do to reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes. Making small changes will have the most significant impact on your health, and some are simply making better choices over your daily eating habits.

The number one choice that I always recommend my clients to do is to CUT OUT full sugar fizzy and energy drinks. Cutting down on these can help to reduce your risk and support a healthy weight. Evidence also shows that drinking unsweetened tea and coffee is associated with a reduced risk.

However, be careful not to replace sugary drinks with high sugar fruit juices or smoothies as these still contain a high amount of sugar. Try drinking water, (you can add lemon and mint to add flavour) herbal teas, or vegetable-based juice and smoothies such as celery, cucumber and ginger.   

Another sure way to stop those sugar spikes is to swap all white breads, pastas and rice for wholegrains such as brown rice, wholewheat pasta, wholemeal flour, wholegrain bread and oats. Remember carbs come in many forms and we need them for energy. Fruits and vegetables, and pulses such as beans, lentils and chickpeas are all great foods to reach for when you want to keep your blood sugar levels balanced. They are also great foods to increase your fibre intake which is vital to help lower your risk of other serious health conditions such as obesity, heart diseases and certain types of cancers.

Also, cut out red and processed meats, such as bacon, ham, sausages, pork, beef and lamb, as they are all associated with an increased risk of type 2 diabetes. They also have links to heart problems and certain types of cancer. Protein is readily available in much healthier options such as pulses, beans, lentils, eggs, fish, chicken, turkey and unsalted nuts.

I know everyone says this, but there is no getting away from the fact that by Including more fruit and vegetables in your diet that it reduces your risk of type 2 diabetes. Focusing on the slightly lower glycaemic (lower sugar) options may be best such as apples, berries, green leafy vegetables, such as watercress, spinach, kale, rocket etc.

What about dairy? Yogurt and cheese are fermented dairy products and they have been linked with a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes. You might be wondering whether to choose full fat or low fat? When it comes to dairy and risk of type 2 diabetes, the amount of fat from these dairy foods is not as important. What is more important is that you choose unsweetened options like plain natural or Greek yoghurt and plain milk.

Can alcohol contribute to your risk? Drinking too much alcohol is linked with an increased risk of type 2 diabetes. It is high in calories, so drinking lots can make it difficult to remain a healthy weight. Guidelines suggest no more than 14 units per week and that these units should be spread evenly over 3-4 days. Drinking heavily on one or two days per week, will also increase the risk of other health conditions such as certain types of cancer. 

Make sure you have some healthy fats in your diet too as these are essential for your health maintenance. Just so you are clear the unhealthier choices are things such as red and processed meat, lard, ghee, biscuits, cakes, sweets, pies and pastries. Heathier choices would be unsalted nuts, seeds, avocados and olive oil.

Eat the right salt – table salt is a fat NO NO! An alternative such as Himalayan salt contains far more beneficial minerals which your body can absorb and utilise. Eating lots of table salt can increase your risk of high blood pressure, which can lead to an increased risk of heart disease and stroke. Having high blood pressure has also been linked to an increased risk of type 2 diabetes. 

One main tip that I would suggest is to spend your money on the right things!! Some supplements can be expensive, so, in my opinion you are far better off spending your pennies on the real deal, ie, fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables. While multi-vitamins and minerals are promoted as helpful, there is nothing better for you than a plate of rainbow fruit and vegetables full of an abundance of vitamins and minerals, just as nature intended.

” For those of you that don’t know me, my name’s Denise Kelly. I’m a Naturopathic Nutritional Therapist based in the sunny south of England.

In my 15 years of practice, I’ve helped educate thousands of people across the globe about the power of good nutrition and how a balanced lifestyle both physically and mentally can ultimately lead to a happy and healthy you.

I’ve written columns for multiple newspapers as well as give in-person talks at some of the biggest companies in the world.”

DENISE KELLY – FOUNDER OF DENISE KELLY WELLNESS

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