Healthy diet can pre­vent pre­di­a­betes pro­gress­ing

Manawatu Guardian - - NEWS - By DUSHANKA HETTIGE

Di­a­betes is a ris­ing epi­demic among the New Zealand pop­u­la­tion and pre­di­a­betes is also start­ing to emerge.

Ac­cord­ing to the 2008/09 NZ Adult Nu­tri­tion Sur­vey, 18.6 per cent of the New Zealand’s pop­u­la­tion 15 years and over had pre­di­a­betes.

Pre­di­a­betes refers to blood glu­cose lev­els higher than nor­mal but not high enough to be classed as Type 2 di­a­betes.

The di­ag­no­sis of pre­di­a­betes can be daunt­ing but the good news is that a healthy diet and life­style may pre­vent pre­di­a­betes from pro­gress­ing into Type 2.

Here are our top five nu­tri­tion tips to re­duce your risk of de­vel­op­ing Type 2 di­a­betes.

Tip 1: Rate your car­bo­hy­drates: Choose qual­ity car­bo­hy­drates that are packed with nu­tri­ents and/or fi­bre.

For ex­am­ple whole­grain or wholemeal breads, pasta and grains, fresh fruit, low fat dairy and starchy vegeta­bles.

Tip 2: It’s never too late for the healthy plate: A great tool to use to man­age por­tion sizes at your lunch and dinner meals is the healthy plate model which com­prises of: half a plate of non­starchy vegeta­bles, quar­ter of a plate of car­bo­hy­drates and the other quar­ter of the plate is pro­tein.

Tip 3: Snack hacks: Choose en­ergy-filled healthy snacks that keep you fuller for longer, for ex­am­ple, a piece of fruit, whole­grain crack­ers, a small hand­ful of nuts, hum­mus and veg­gie sticks or a pot­tle of low sugar yo­ghurt.

Tip 4: Think be­fore you drink: A litre bot­tle of fruit juice or fizzy drink has around 20 to 30 tea­spoons of sugar.

This can be shock­ing when the rec­om­mended added sugar in­take ac­cord­ing to the World Health Or­gan­i­sa­tion (WHO) for adults is only six tea­spoons per day.

Aim for flu­ids with no added sugar such as wa­ter, milk, herbal tea, tea and cof­fee with no sugar to en­sure you are stay­ing hy­drated through­out the day with nour­ish­ing flu­ids.

Tip 5: Man­age your weight mate. Main­tain­ing a healthy weight through choos­ing heathy foods and ex­er­cise can help re­duce the risk of pre­di­a­betes pro­gress­ing to Type 2 di­a­betes.

This in­cludes lim­it­ing foods high in calo­ries such as take­aways, deep fried foods, high sugar drinks and foods and pro­cessed foods.

Pre­di­a­betes can be looked at as if some­one was stand­ing at a cross roads with two paths they can take, one be­ing the path to Type 2 di­a­betes and the other be­ing the path to re­vers­ing their pre­di­a­betes through diet, ex­er­cise and life­style mea­sures.

Just re­mem­ber: “Progress is progress, no mat­ter how small”.

Dushanka Hettige is a NZ reg­is­tered di­eti­tian, MHT Di­a­betes Trust. The MHT Di­a­betes Trust runs a se­ries of ed­u­ca­tion classes in the com­mu­nity. For more in­for­ma­tion: Ph 357 5992, ad­min@di­a­betestrust.org.nz, www.di­a­betestrust.org.nz and face­book.com/MHTDi­a­betestrust/

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