There are two different types of diabetes: Type 1 and Type 2.
Type 1: Occurs when your pancreas is unable to produce and secrete the insulin that normally controls your blood sugar levels.
Type 2: Occurs when your body is unable to produce insulin OR utilize the insulin that your pancreas produces, resulting in higher than normal blood sugar levels circulating in your body.
Why is Type II Diabetes a Concern?
Approximately ninety of people that are diagnosed with diabetes have type II, and this number is only growing. Diabetes Canada estimates that by 2025, five million people (twelve percent of the population) will have diabetes.
How to Reduce Your Risk of Type II Diabetes
- Maintain a Healthy Weight
As we age, our bodies naturally gain weight as our metabolism slows and hormonal changes take place. Keeping our body weight in a healthy range can help. Talk to your healthcare practitioner about what’s right for you.
- Exercise Regularly
Regular physical activity helps reduce your risk of diabetes. According to the Canadian Guidelines, adults 18-64 years of age should aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-vigorous activity (think breathing heavier and sweating a bit) each week.
- Eat Well
Incorporating nutrient rich foods, lean protein sources, lots of fibre, and whole fruits and vegetables can help us control how hard our body needs to work to keep our blood sugar in control. One eating pattern that helps control blood sugar levels is called the Mediterranean diet. The hallmarks of this type of eating pattern include lean sources of protein (fish, beans, chicken), heart healthy fats (olive oil), vegetables and fruits, and high fibre carbohydrates (whole grains).
- Eating the Mediterranean Way to Reduce Your Risk of Type II Diabetes
What does eating a Mediterranean diet mean for you? There are some simple things you can do today to reduce your risk through diet. For breakfast have some Greek yogurt for extra calcium and protein, for snacks, munch on vegetables like broccoli, carrots, cherry tomatoes and a handful of nuts. For lunch and dinner swap out your white breads and pasta for whole grain choices, and don’t forget to make olive oil your choice of cooking fat for stir frying lean meats like chicken or fish.
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Amy is a Registered Dietitian who believes eating well goes beyond just focusing on foods to avoid. She is passionate about educating on the impact eating well can have on all aspects of life in a realistic and simple way.