Min­imis­ing the risk

Friday - - Society Living Leisure -

While we can’t do any­thing about cer­tain risk fac­tors such as ge­net­ics, age or eth­nic­ity, car­ry­ing ex­tra weight is a sig­nif­i­cant risk fac­tor for Type 2 di­a­betes.

“Di­a­besity is on the in­crease world­wide be­cause of a com­bi­na­tion of seden­tary life­style and poor di­etary choices,” says Veronique Droulez, se­nior nutri­tion man­ager at Meat & Live­stock Aus­tralia. “It is dif­fi­cult to sep­a­rate the one from the other and both prob­a­bly con­trib­ute to in­creased risk in dif­fer­ent ways.”

Stud­ies show that mak­ing life­style changes can pre­vent up to 80 per cent of cases of Type 2 di­a­betes, and risk can also be re­duced by up to 60 per cent af­ter mak­ing some ba­sic life­style changes. In fact, if you’re over­weight, ev­ery kilo­gram you lose could re­duce your risk of get­ting Type 2 di­a­betes by up to 15 per cent.

Eat­ing reg­u­lar meals to keep your blood­glu­cose lev­els sta­ble, mak­ing sure you have at least five por­tions of fruit and veg­eta­bles a day, lim­it­ing un­healthy snacks and pro­cessed foods high in salt, sugar or sat­u­rated fat will also help re­duce your risk of get­ting the dis­ease.

“If you’re over­weight or obese, I would rec­om­mend los­ing weight by fol­low­ing an en­ergy-restricted diet and in­creas­ing phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity to at least one hour a day,” says Veronique. “Once weight is lost, it’s crit­i­cal to main­tain a healthy weight. The Dio­genes study [a large Euro­pean study] found that a higher pro­tein, low-GI diet was the most ef­fec­tive for main­tain­ing weight loss.”

Put sim­ply, if you’ve been di­ag­nosed with di­a­besity, or if you’re wor­ried you may be at risk, main­tain­ing a healthy weight and life­style is the best chance you have to pro­long your life.

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