November is Diabetes Month – let food be thy medicine


November marks National Diabetes Awareness Month, and with statistics published in the SA Journal of Diabetes & Vascular Disease, now more than ever before awareness is critical to halt the increase of diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is considered a lifestyle disease, and overweight and obesity are considered major risk factors for the development of type 2 diabetes. Eating a healthy and balanced diet plays an important role in preventing, and managing type 2 diabetes.

Type 2 diabetes is a condition that develops over time. The body still produces insulin, however the the body is unable to use insulin properly. There are 2 other types of diabetes, however the majority of people in South Africa have type 2 diabetes. As being overweight increases the risks of developing type 2 diabetes, excessive calorie consumption and sedentary lifestyles pre-empt the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. South Africans have become more exposed to high-caloric, processed foods, contributing to the increased rates of diabetes.

Prof Tim Noakes is South Africa’s most well-known author and researcher in this field, who managed to reverse his diabetes through diet. Through The Noakes Foundation, he is aiming to support the dietary revolution that will reverse the global epidemic of obesity and type 2 diabetes. The key principles of his diet, widely known as the Banting diet, is that it is strictly low carb, and high in fat.

To manage your weight and diabetes, a well-balanced eating pattern is essential. When you’ve been diagnosed with diabetes, or at risk (to find out whether you’re at risk, visit a Clicks pharmacy for a screening, which is funded by most medical aids), you’re advised to seek assistance from a dietitian who can monitor with you what the right diet is for you. Generic guidelines are like the name suggests: generic. For your own health you would want to establish the right quantity and ratio of macronutritients (fats, protein, and carbs).

There is however one rule that applies to all of us: eat a variety of food that is non-processed and home cooked. When you prepare your food yourself, you become much more aware of what you’re eating, and can adjust what works and doesn’t work or you, to manage your energy levels and weight.

Nutritionstripped shares 10 tips on how to create low sugar smoothies that are nutritious, and don’t leave you with a sugar crash. We love the tip on replacing high sugar content liquids with unsweetened teas. Or using almond milk instead of doubling up on fruit and juice, which creates flavour and texture, and adds healthy fats.

You can also add some superfoods to your smoothie, like chia seeds. Chia is a gluten-free grain that stabilizes blood sugar, preventing extreme rises in blood sugar levels after meals. At Rodalewellness you can find more foods that may help to lower blood sugar.

Take inspiration out of our recipes, and add variety with ingredients and nutrients that make you feel energetic, and support managing a healthy weight.

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