World Diabetes Day
World Diabetes Day: Everything YOU need to know about diabetes and nutrition.
Diabetes mellitus (often called “sugar diabetes”) is a condition that occurs when the body can’t use glucose (a type of sugar) properly. Glucose, the main source of energy for the body’s cells, is controlled by a hormone called insulin, which is produced by the pancreas. Insulin helps glucose enter the cells. When suffering from diabetes, the pancreas does not make enough insulin (type 1 diabetes) or the body can’t respond normally to the insulin that is made (type 2 diabetes). This causes the glucose levels in the blood to rise, leading to symptoms such as increased urination and extreme thirst. A visit to your healthcare professional is recommended if the following serious symptoms are experienced:
- Constant fatigue (feeling tired all the time)
- Blurred vision
- Persistent urinary infections
- Unexplained headaches
In people with diabetes, insufficient insulin prevents the body from getting glucose from the blood into the body’s cells to use as energy. When this occurs, the body starts burning fat and muscle for energy, causing a reduction in overall body weight.
Unexpected weight loss is often noticed in people prior to a diagnosis of type 1 diabetes but it may also affect people with type 2 diabetes. Fat break down is an important part of stabilizing blood sugar levels within the body. The best effective solution is a proper nutritional diet that provides one with essentials vitamins, proteins, carbohydrates and fats.
The 14th of November will see the world’s attention being drawn to diabetes, as organisations the globe over will endeavour to educate people on the causes, symptoms and treatment of this manageable ailment. Weigh-Less understands the plight of diabetes sufferers and has always been willing to help individuals with diabetes manage their weight and take back their health. We have several Members who have reversed their chronic diabetes by just following the Weigh-Less Eating Plan, which helped them to gain proper and vital nutrition in which the pancreas was then able to produce more insulin, whereas the Member did not require artificial forms of insulin such as tablets or injections. With this in mind, Weigh-Less offers tips on managing your diabetes:
Monitor: The only way to effectively manage and stay on top of your blood glucose levels is to remain aware of them. Consult your health care professional about how frequently you should be testing your blood glucose levels.
Hold the salt: Sodium may contribute to higher blood pressure levels. Look out for the foods that are high in salt to keep your blood pressure normalised.
Drink in moderation: One and a half, to two drinks per day has been proven to lower your risk of diabetes by as much as 30 percent. If you have already been diagnosed, you may need to talk to your doctor about the effects that alcohol may have on your blood glucose levels.
Stay active: This has been credited as the third most important factor in managing diabetes, after receiving medical attention and initiating weight loss. Exercise improves your body’s ability to respond to insulin and will help manage your increased risk of heart disease.
Smoke less: If you are a smoker, your habit can heighten the symptoms of your diabetes. Smoking raises blood glucose levels and, if you are in the process of quitting, will cause your glucose levels to spike unless your diet is carefully monitored.
Weigh-Less offers a scientifically designed Formula for Members who suffer from diabetes. Our Insulin Control Formula has been developed to ensure that you are able to maintain healthy blood glucose levels, and shed the excess kilo’s that may further aggravate your condition.
Hints and tips to help you stabilize your blood sugar levels
Balance blood sugar with healthy fats.
Whenever we eat a source of carbohydrate, it should be accompanied by a quality source of fat. Fat slows down the absorption of glucose into the bloodstream and prevents sugar highs and sugar crashes. This keeps us full longer so we can reach or maintain a healthy weight.
Don’t eat constantly to balance blood sugar.
A good starting point is three solid meals a day with smaller snacks in between, if you are used to snacking all through the day. Intermittent fasting can be healthful, but, in my experience, not when blood sugar balance is severely compromised.
Eat protein with breakfast for balanced blood sugar.
When we skip breakfast, the body increases production of stress hormones and starts to break down muscle (not fat – muscle!) to use for energy. It’s a very stressful situation for the body and wreaks havoc on blood sugar balance for the rest of the day.
Favour roots and fruits over carbs to balance blood sugar.
Instead of obtaining carbohydrates from grains, opt for healthy carbs from fresh, whole fruits and root vegetables. These carbs do not perpetuate inflammation or intestinal damage like grains. Enjoy fresh fruits in season as well as a variety of frozen fruits. Sweet potatoes, carrots, celeriac, beets and other root vegetables provide a nutrient-rich source of healthy carbs. Remember, to balance blood sugar, enjoy fruits and roots in the presence of healthy fats and protein.
Use a glucose meter to balance blood sugar.
We can take hints from our body about our blood sugar levels. For example, if you feel shaky or irritable in-between meals, this points to hypoglycemia (low blood sugar levels). If you buzzed after a carb-dense, low fat meal or snack, that indicates hyperglycemia.