Around 3.2 million people in the UK have been diagnosed with diabetes, and it’s estimated 5 million will have it by 2025. These figures are partly due to type 1 diabetes – a disorder where the body is unable to produce insulin. However, the other 90 per cent have type 2 diabetes, which is both preventable and reversible.
In type 2 diabetes, the body produces insulin but is unable to use it, so blood glucose levels rise. To encourage your body to use insulin more effectively, change your lifestyle with these preventative measures:
1 Cut out sugar
We’re not just talking sweets and cakes, but also carbohydrates such as white bread, pasta and potatoes, which turn to sugar in the body. Limit sugary drinks and try to drink more water instead. If you still need a sweet hit in your tea or coffee, try Natures Garden Stevia instead.
2 Cut your carbs
Go for salads and soups during the day and have a small amount of carbs at dinner – aim for 30g per meal. That’s a medium wholegrain roll with turkey and salad, or baked salmon with a small jacket potato and veg.
3 Pick the right fruit and veg
Both are sources of natural sugar, but some will have less of an effect on your glucose levels. Berries, leafy salad and veg are good options. Eat apples and carrots in moderation and melon and bananas in small amounts.
4 Snack on nuts
They contain hardly any carbohydrates, but plenty of healthy fats. Try a handful of almonds or graze on nutritious mixed nuts. Remember to stick to a handful as they are high in calories.
5 Get moving
You need at least 150 minutes of exercise a week to improve blood glucose levels – very doable at less than 25 minutes per day. Not a gym lover? Try walking and build up to longer periods at low intensity.
6 Don’t just sit there
On average, we spend 48 weeks a year sitting at our desks. Research reveals the longer you spend sitting, the greater your insulin resistance (making it harder for your body to use insulin to take glucose from the blood and into the body’s cells). Get up and walk around every hour to speed up your metabolism and lessen your diabetes risk.
7 Choose active travel
These days we’re more sedentary and use cars far too much- one car journey in five is for a distance under one mile. Cycle to work, walk to the station and avoid using the car for short journeys.
For tips on living with diabetes, see how to care for the condition.