Diabetes does not develop from one day to the next; it develops slowly and gradually. Besides a genetic disposition, one of the most important risk factors is a long-term unhealthy lifestyle. Many people develop diabetes but remain unaware of it for a long time. They therefore see no reason to take action against the impending illness.
Test your risk of developing diabetes now
What is diabetes?
Diabetes is a metabolic condition. There are two types of diabetes – type 1 and type 2. 90% of all diabetes patients suffer from type 2 diabetes. In this case either the pancreas does not produce enough insulin or the body is unable to use the insulin effectively. Insulin moves glucose out of the blood and into cells, where it's broken down to produce energy. If this process fails, the glucose remains in the bloodstream and the blood sugar level rises. This can have serious consequences and may even lead to a heart attack or stroke.
There are three main ways to reduce the risk of developing diabetes:
Everyone should take around half an hour's exercise a day. Exercise means any activity which accelerates your pulse and breathing and makes you sweat.
2. A healthy enjoyable diet
Where nutrition is concerned you should:
- Eat fruit and vegetables every day
- Opt for carbohydrates with a high fibre content (wholegrain products)
- Choose sugar-free drinks
- Use vegetable oils with unsaturated fatty acids
- Opt for vegetable sources of protein (e.g. pulses or soya) or animal protein such as fish, poultry and low-fat dairy products
- Eat very little red meat
3. Weight control
Keeping a regular eye on your weight is important. People of normal weight should avoid putting on any additional weight. If you are overweight, it is worth trying to reduce your body weight slightly. Reducing your body weight by five to ten percent will significantly reduce your risk of contracting diabetes.
If you would like further important information about diabetes prevention or would like to know how high your risk of developing diabetes is and how SWICA can assist you in addressing this issue, please visit our website at:
Diabetes prevention – the time to act is now