Lisa Petty is a nutritionist and healthy ageing expert for TV, Radio and Print. She has written extensively about achieving and maintaining vibrant health, and is the author of Living Beauty: Feel Great, Look Fabulous and Live Well – a modern guide to feeling younger at any age.
She’ll be in store this month on November 20 in Newmarket, for a special guest event titled ‘Feel Great, Look Fabulous, Live Well’. She was also gracious enough to share a guest post with us in support of Diabetes Awareness Month.
We hope you enjoy the article, and look forward to seeing you out at her must-see event!
Choose the Road to Vibrant Health
By Lisa Petty
Although it’s Diabetes Awareness Month, perhaps it’s a good idea to focus our awareness on proactive steps to reduce risk. Like other diseases with a lifestyle component, the road to type-2 diabetes is just that: it’s a journey with many opportunities to make choices that support health – even if you’re slim or have been diagnosed with pre-diabetes.
Here are some things to consider:
Research shows that overweight individuals at high risk of developing type-2 diabetes can delay or prevent onset by losing as little as 5 to 7% of their weight. It’s a gentle first step you can achieve by increasing physical activity to 30 minutes for five days a week. Reduce portion sizes and limit your intake of refined carbohydrates, trans-fats and excess saturated fats.
[blockquote_left] Research shows that overweight individuals at high risk of developing type-2 diabetes can delay or prevent onset by losing as little as 5 to 7% of their weight. [/blockquote_left]
Whether or not you are over-weight (as some people with pre-diabetes are lean), eat small meals containing protein, fat and fibre every few hours, starting with breakfast. This will help to balance your blood glucose and insulin.
Fill half your 9 inch dinner plate with simply prepared antioxidant rich fruits and vegetables. Your broiled, baked or steam meat, fish or meat alternative will take up a quarter of your plate, and your whole grain (brown rice or quinoa) takes up the remaining quarter plate.
Essential fats eicosapentanoic acid (EPA) and docosahexanoic acid (DHA) from deep water, fatty fish are important components of cell membranes, impacting the function of receptors. Multiple studies highlight the role of EPA and DHA in preventing inflammation, which is a factor in metabolic disorders including diabetes. Omega 3 fats also help to improve insulin sensitivity. Aim to consume at least 500 mg of EPA and DHA daily.
Changes in the gut microbiota may play a role in the development of obesity, and possibly type- 2 and type-3 diabetes. Studies show that probiotics (beneficial bacteria) Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacterium can decrease blood levels of lipids and glucose, as well as improve insulin resistance in obese rats. Probiotics also help with digestion and support immune function, so it’s a good idea to add them to your daily supplement regimen. Aim to take 10 Billion colony forming units (CFU) daily, with food.
[blockquote_right] Probiotics also help with digestion and support immune function, so it’s a good idea to add them to your daily supplement regimen. [/blockquote_right]
Multiply your protection with a daily multivitamin containing antioxidant vitamins A, C, and E that help to thwart cellular free radical damage, and B Complex to help protect against nerve damage.
And we do live in Canada. Days are getting shorter. Now’s the time to start supplementing with Vitamin D: while research is as yet unclear on the role that vitamin D plays in preventing and treating insulin sensitivity, those with type-2 diabetes are deficient in this important immune system vitamin.
Remember that type-2 diabetes can impact anyone, and weight is not the deciding factor. Be sure to ask your health care provider to test your blood glucose levels during your check up.
You can connect with Lisa Petty via the links below: