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Wellness with Natalie: How to reduce your diabetes risk

The diabetes epidemic in Jamaica and globally is far advanced and ever increasing in numbers.

Type 2 diabetes used to be called adult onset diabetes but now that even children are getting it, the appropriate name has become Type 2 diabetes. Nearly 100 million people worldwide are affected by diabetes and this number continues to grow exponentially. This completely preventable disease affects 1 in 3 children currently being born.

How scary is that! I’m a mother of three. Think about it.

In a report in The New England Journal of Medicine, Walter Willett, MD, PhD, and his colleagues from the Harvard School of Public Health demonstrated that 91 percent of all Type 2 diabetes cases could be prevented through improvements in lifestyle and diet.

So why are we not preventing this disease?

Well, our busy lives and convenience food make it easier to eat empty calories and far too much sugar, and starchy carbohydrates such as bread, pasta, dumplings, Johnny cakes, rice, and Irish potatoes - not to mention battered and deep fried foods.

Even our local ground provisions which have more nutrients than what I just mentioned are still high in carbohydrates and need to be eaten in moderation. I’m now referring to green banana, yam, sweet potato, breadfruit and pumpkin.

Don’t get me wrong, these foods do have nutrients. But we tend to eat way too much of them.

When our carbohydrate intake is too high, our body slowly becomes resistant to the effects of insulin (the hormone that pulls sugar from our blood and into our cells to be converted into energy). This resistance means we need more insulin to do the same job of keeping our blood sugar stable. This high insulin makes you insatiably hungry and you enter that viscous cycle of more quick and easy high carb foods, which leads to more insulin and on it goes.

So here are some steps you can take right now to reduce your risk:

  • Eliminate sodas and juice and drink more water

  • Eliminate bread, pasta and baked goods

  • Reduce other forms of starchy carbs

  • Eat more vegetables

  • Reduce your caffeine intake

  • Increase your fiber intake

  • Practice intermittent fasting

  • Plan your meals ahead of time.

I know you’re going to tell me that you’re too busy. But I am going to tell you that if you do not prioritize your health, life will do it for you.

My mother died in 2014 from diabetes. Let me help you not suffer the same fate. Book your appointment to see me now.

Originally published by Loop

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