In the news 'Diabetes cases soar by 60% in past decade'

Showing that you can still have sweet treats without sugar 'Raspberry and 'cream' sponge cake-gluten free, no added sugar, egg free, dairy free

BBC News reported in August that 'Diabetes cases soar by 60% in past decade'. Please see . Significantly 90% of this increase is Type 2 diabetes, the type caused by poor diet and lifestyle. 

The good news is that Type 2 diabetes can be prevented by exercising and changes to your diet. This is important because untreated diabetes can lead to nerve damage, sight loss, and kidney failure. If you follow the advice of this blog, you are well on your way to preventing diabetes.  

Exercise increases insulin sensitivity. Walking is excellent or you could try power walking. Please see 'Walking my way to stronger bones' Yoga will stretch out the muscles tightened by such activities. Please see 'Yoga poses for power walkers'

As for diet, the most important foods to avoid are sugar in all its guises (sucrose, corn syrup, barley malt, fructose etc). Please see 'Sugar and skin-Not so sweet' Sugar is 'empty calories'. It has no vitamins, minerals or fibre. Also avoid refined carbohydrates such as white flour, white bread, white pasta etc. The reason for this is that these are processed quickly by your body causing blood sugar(glucose) 'spikes'. These 'spikes' cause the pancreas to go into overdrive to produce too much insulin to deal with the blood glucose causing the blood sugar levels to sink lower than normal. This may cause irritability or mood swings. If this keeps happening, the pancreas may become 'tired' and reduce the amount of insulin leading to diabetes or the body may become insensitive to insulin a condition known as insulin resistance. Wholegrains, on the other hand are digested more slowly, releasing glucose into the blood gradually, keeping the pancreas 'happy'. 

If you follow this blog however, you will know this is not the end of sweet treats - you will find 'dessert breakfasts' and even cakes on this blog which are made without sugar! The sugars you do have in your diet should be in the form of fruits and vegetables. In these the sugars are combined with fibre and so are released slowly into the blood. Avoid fruit juice which lacks the fibre to slow down absorption. Be careful with cereals. Most cereals have sugar in some form as a main ingredient. Why not make your own muesli with oats, barley flakes, rye flakes, or rice flakes and nuts and seeds. Serve with soy yogurt and fresh fruit such as berries?

The other food to avoid is saturated fat so if you are not vegan, limit red meat and processed foods and eat more oily fish such as sockeye salmon. There are two reasons for this. Firstly saturated fat can lead to weight gain which is a risk factor for Type 2 diabetes. Also saturated fat can worsen insulin resistance.  

Hope this helps.

Stay healthy
Janet x

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