If diabetes incidence continues to grow at current rates, 3 million Australians over the age of 25 will have diabetes, according to research conducted by Australian Heart & Diabetes, Baker IDI. These numbers could be lowered dramatically if everyone took some steps towards living a healthier lifestyle, by eating a healthy diet and exercising regularly. It all starts with having a better understanding of diabetes, and learning what steps you can take to help reduce your risk. Knowledge is power. Boost your power with these 6 facts and see how Jenny Craig can help reducing the risk of diabetes.
1. The most common form of diabetes is type 2.
85% of all diabetes incidence in Australia is type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes develops when your body’s ability to use insulin becomes impaired. Insulin is the hormone that helps move glucose (sugar) from your bloodstream into your cells where it’s used to produce energy. When those cells become insulin resistant—meaning they don’t respond to insulin as they should—and your body doesn’t produce enough insulin to overcome that resistance, glucose builds up in your bloodstream. Curious about whether you’re at risk of developing type 2 diabetes? The Diabetes Australia website offers a quick quiz to help you assess your risk.
2. Sugar – it’s about moderation.
Glucose, or blood sugar, is a good thing. It’s your body’s primary source of energy, but when there’s too much in your bloodstream, it can damage blood vessels, nerves, and organs and over time lead to serious complications. This is why you want to catch diabetes early and start managing it immediately. But don’t despair, there’s no reason to cut all sugar out of your diet, or foods containing natural sugars. It’s through eating a balanced diet and losing weight that you will learn how you can best manage your blood sugar levels.
3. Lifestyle is often the root cause.
Being overweight and inactive can be significant factors in the development of type 2 diabetes. Excess weight and lack of physical activity can lead to prediabetes (also known as insulin resistance). You can help prevent diabetes by maintaining a healthy weight and exercising regularly. Find an activity you enjoy and that fits easily into your schedule so that you’ll keep doing it. If you need to drop extra kilos, choose a weight loss plan like Jenny Craig, which provides portion-controlled, pre-prepared meals, plus the weekly support of your own personal consultant, that makes losing weight simple.
4. More than 2 million Australians have prediabetes
Prediabetes is defined as having higher than normal blood glucose levels, but not yet high enough to be diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. People with prediabetes are 10-20X more likely to develop type 2 diabetes than those with normal blood glucose levels. The good news is that 3 out of 5 people with prediabetes can avoid type 2 diabetes by simply eating well and exercising regularly.
5. You can reverse prediabetes.
A large study known as the Diabetes Prevention Program, involving more than 3,000 people with prediabetes, found that those who dropped their weight by 7% and got 150 minutes of physical activity each week reduced their risk of developing diabetes by 58%! Weight loss and exercise can even help to bring sugar levels back to normal without medication.
6. If you have diabetes, you can manage it effectively, and slow its progression.
Currently there is no cure for diabetes, but you can take the steps necessary to manage your diabetes, and prevent its complications. Once you’ve been diagnosed, you’ll work with your doctor, diabetes educator, pharmacist, and possibly other specialists such as dietitians to develop the best treatment plan for you. Stay committed to your diabetes management plan by taking your medications as prescribed, eating healthfully, exercising regularly and managing your weight. You are the most important person in your diabetes care. Taking control of your health can help you improve your quality of life. Jenny Craig makes healthy eating easy, so why not check out how the Jenny Craig program works here, and take control of your health today.