Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Diabetes is Becoming an Epidemic. So Why Should You Care?

I am sure you must have heard by now that Type II diabetes has become an epidemic.  It is one of the many chronic health conditions associated with obesity and a poor lifestyle.  In Canada, experts estimate that there will be 4.2 million of us diagnosed with diabetes by 2020.  Many people (1-in-5)have prediabetes and don't even know it, and what's scary, is that 70% of people with prediabetes will go on to develop diabetes.  You could be one of them!!

So what?  You'll just pop some pills or take a few needles?  Or start eating cinnamon buns instead of donuts?  Not so fast!  Here are some of the things that can go along with being diabetic:

- Vision problems/blindness
- Greater risk of dementia
- Greater risk of gum/oral infections
- Greater risk of heart attack and stroke
- Neuropathy
- Digestive problems
- Kidney failure
- Foot/leg amputations

Doesn't sound fun, does it??

So who is at risk of Type 2 diabetes?  You have a greater risk if you are:

- Older
- Male
- A woman diagnosed with gestational diabetes
- A person with a parent or sibling with diabetes
- Have ever been diagnosed with high blood pressure
- Sedentary
- Overweight

So what should you do?  Getting screened for prediabetes might be useful if you have any risk factors, and here is what you can do to lower your risk:

- Maintain a healthy weight
- Exercise regularly
- Limit sugar and carbs
- Eat lots of fresh vegetables
- Eat foods containing magnesium
- Avoid saturated fat and trans fat
- Avoid processed meats
- Take a vitamin D supplement

Source: Nutrition Action Health Letter, July/August, 2014

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