The 14th November is the birthdate of the Canadian Scientist Frederick Banting who discovered insulin. Insulin is an important hormone that allows sugar to move from our blood, after digesting food, into our muscles and fat cells to be either burned or stored. Diabetes, is the name we give to the disease related to problems with our insulin. Whilst some types of Diabetes are caused by factors out of our control, Type 2 Diabetes can usually be prevented in younger individuals by adopting a healthy lifestyle. What’s more, most of the lifestyle actions we can take to limit our diabetes risk will also help to improve our heart health!
With this in mind, here are some tips for doing just that:
Eat more Fibre
Fibre can not only help to reduce cholesterol levels but also helps to slow down how quickly our blood sugar levels increase. Try and swap white pasta and bread for wholegrain options, eat more fruit and vegetables, and snack on unsalted nuts and seeds.
Create Activity Opportunities
Staying active is one of the most effective ways to maintain our weight and lower blood pressure. Consider how you can incorporate a minimum of one ‘activity opportunity’ every day, whether it’s walking the dog, cleaning your house, or dusting off your old bike. Remember to keep it fresh and do something you enjoy!
Take the 5% Challenge
Reducing our bodyweight by more than 5% is an effective way to positively manage our future health, however any weight loss is beneficial, so start small and build on your success! Remember to set a goal over a realistic timeframe; 0.5-2lb per week is sustainable.
Know Your Numbers
Eating excessive amounts of sugar over many years can be harmful to our health. Try and opt for foods with less than 5g of sugar per 100g most of the time, and limit high sugar foods such as fizzy drinks and sweets to less than twice per week.