Today I caught the headline that 1 in 4 hospital beds will be occupied by diabetics in 11 years. Also that the number of young people with diabetes is increasing: 1 in 8 diabetics are under 40.
90% of Type 2 diabetics are overweight. We all know this is happening and that it’s a major problem linked to obesity.
What are the symptoms of approaching Type 2 Diabetes?
High blood sugar levels of course! The following symptoms point to blood sugar level problems:
- when you get up in the morning you need to eat to be able to cope
- skipping a meal is a problem
- you need to eat between meals in order to keep going
- you need to eat before practising sports
- you need sugar after a meal
- you’re not able to think clearly after a big meal
- you’re too often highly emotional
- you have low energy
- you’re highly strung
- you’re sensitive to inflammation issues.
Tips to regulate blood sugar levels:
- Exercise for a minimum of 20 minutes on an empty stomach, then eat breakfast. The body then won’t need insulin to regulate your blood sugar levels (because your heightened metabolism will do it instead). ‘Exercise’ can be as easy as a brisk walk. The aim is to use the big muscle groups.
- Cut out fast carbs (white wheat and refined sugar) as much as possible. Eat more vegetables, root vegetables and protein.
- Have a maximum of three meals a day without snacking inbetween.
(Eating little and often leads to insulin constantly having to be produced).
- Eat fruits, vegetables and natural foods instead of takeaways, ready meals, confectionary and soft drinks.
The problem is that most people rely on convenience foods in today’s lifestyle. There seem to be barriers to eating naturally: lack of time or energy or just not knowing how to cook. Also there’s a lot more advertising around promoting unhealthy food compared with healthy food campaigns.
Recently I advised University of Bangor’s School of Nursing on how to solve the problem of being too time poor to cook. A lot of nurses work 12-hour shifts so there may not be time to eat before work, or cook afterwards.
During the day, breaks may be short or delayed due to staff shortages or an emergency on the ward. Also healthy food may just not be available. The hospital ward we visited contained only a vending machine with soft drinks, crisps and chocolate.
Also kind-hearted visitors who used to bring in grapes and flowers are now more likely to bring sugary treat instead!
My solution was make healthy soups and stews using a slow cooker at home. The idea is that you can load it up with some vegetables and healthy ingredients and let it stew overnight. Then in the morning there is a healthy dish to take into work in a food thermos flask. Or the cooking can be started before work so there is something ready when you get home.
I also created a second recipe to spice up the original dish to make another meal. Meaning you can cook once and eat twice! So we did a special pop-up kitchen with free samples for all the students.
The results have been fantastic. People have been trying my 7-Day Meal Plan and finding they are:
- losing weight even though they are eating more.
- have more energy
- clearer skin
- and some have said that minor ailments have cleared up by themselves.
Another benefit is you save lots of money too. Having your own thermos can save £5 or £10 a day on takeaways. Also there are savings on your supermarket shopping as the ingredients are much cheaper than ready meals. Not only is it healthier and reduces the risk of diabetes it can save you £300 to £500 a month.
The other great thing is that you can download my 7 Day Meal Plan for free. Most people have a slow cooking languishing somewhere in their kitchen cupboards. Dig yours out and get started straight away.
Categories: Top Health Tips