Type II Diabetes - Lifestyle Related and Reversible!
Posted May 21 2010 1:24am
I was recently contacted by a good friend of Thrive Healthy Living, who has a passion for raising awareness on healthy eating habits and its associated benefits to support those living with diabetes on a daily basis. Patricia asked if we would provide some content on diet and lifestyle changes that would positively impact Type II diabetes and of course, I was immediately interested in doing so.
There are a lot of people with Type II diabetes, in fact, diabetes is in epidemic proportions in Australia, and in the US. If you are sitting there yawning about this right now you had better sit up straight and pay close attention to what I am about to tell you because it affects YOU directly....the scary thing about Type II Diabetes is the vast number of people yet to be diagnosed officially with it, but who do have it right now. Think you can afford to turn a blind eye to the truth? Hey...it's your health....it's your life...it's your choice. Here are some facts from the Australian Bureau of Statistics - if you are in the US I suggest you refer to your local statistics rather than shrugging your shoulders and pretending this is not the case there!
Some facts to consider on the bad side:
Obesity rates have doubled in the last 20 years
Diabetes rates have doubled in the last 20 years
The prevalence of people doing insufficient physical activity for health benefits has increased by 10%
The prevalence of High Blood Cholesterol levels has not fallen over the last 20 years
Some facts to consider on the good side:
Behavioural or lifestyle risk factors increase the risk of ill health.
Lifestyle behaviours can be altered
Regular exercise and diet are factors in preventing many diseases
Poor lifestyle choices are directly responsible for increasing the rates of many diseases
Changing your poor lifestyle habits for good lifestyle habits can set you on the path to reverse these conditions
Self reported data showed that 4% of Australians had a diagnosis of Diabetes in 2007/08 more than double the number since 1989/90 in not even a decade.
The major preventable risk factors for Diabetes are
Insufficient Physical Activity
Disappointingly the most common report was that the vast majority of the population are not just choosing poorly on 1 of these 2 preventable risk factors, but that they were choosing poorly on both of them placing them at even higher risk of getting Type II Diabetes, Obesity, Heart Disease and other debilitating lifestyle related disorders. It's amazing to me that people are choosing to be sick.
For those of you nodding your head knowingly who are ready to do something about it read on as we take a look at what you can do to get yourself on track to better health and to lowering your risk factors across all fronts.
The Importance of Nutrition and Exercise
The single most important action that we can take to dramatically improve the state of our health is to consume more fruits and vegetables, and to exercise for 30 minutes at least 3 times per week.
Current dietary guidelines call for the average person to ensure they are eating an absolute minimum of 2 serves of different fruits and 5 serves of different vegetables every single day. There is a very good reason that we need to do this daily, you see each and every day for the entire course of our life, our body is rebuilding and regenerating cells that are dying.
These cells form all of our living tissue, our skin, our hair, our nails obviously, but the ones you need to be really aware of are your blood, your heart, your lungs, your kidneys, your liver, your muscle tissue..the list goes on. These cells are constantly being replaced and it is the nutrition that you put into your body that provides the material from which your body can produce these cells.
Put bad materials into your body, you build bad cells that are inefficient in their job of carrying oxygen around the body, fighting disease, healing your wounds, providing your energy, firing your nervous system, fueling your mental alertness etc. In other words, everything that has anything to do with how you perform on any given day.
Thankfully, the opposite is also true. Put great materials into your body and the body jumps into action rebuilding all of your cells and replacing the old worn out and dead ones with brand new shiny, efficient, strong and high performing ones. The end result of all of that taking place is that you feel amazing!
Your red blood cells which are responsible for carrying oxygen around your body (I am sure you will agree that this is an important function) for example have a lifespan of only 4 months. Every day millions of your red blood cells are dying and being replaced with new ones. After 4 months your entire red blood cell supply (billions of the little suckers) have been replaced. Every day that you compromise your nutrition, you force your body to build red blood cells that are not healthy, not efficient, and well just not great.
You cannot expect to feel great when you have that going on. The bottom line is that great health takes commitment to making lifestyle changes...the great thing is that when you do, you are rewarding with feeling great! Given that the average serving size is slightly less than the size of your fist, you can see why most people cannot or will not achieve the minimum required servings on a daily basis. As a personal trainer I have been aware of this struggle for people for a long time.
Sitting with clients daily to take a look at their nutritional habits, seeing clearly that they are lacking in the fruits and vegetables nutrition they so desperately require as a part of getting them fit and healthy, and making the recommendation to them to eat more was typically met with a nod which translated into "yep... I know and I am going to make more effort". Experience over years showed me that nod did not magically give people more time to get to market every day to buy what they needed and so I went in search of a solution - something that would deliver what people needed nutritionally, and was cost effective, easy and convenient. Sure the purists would say you cannot replace the real thing and I agree but I was not and am not looking to replace the real thing...what I am looking to achieve is simply to bridge the gap that people have every day.
So eat as much fruits and vegetables as you can, and make sure you take a wholefood concentrate proven to deliver all of the nutritional benefits of raw fruits and vegetables so that you can cover what you cannot achieve in fresh raw produce. Sound sensible? I thought so too... hunting down the perfect product took a long, long time as I would not look at anything that did not have independently produced medical research of the highest possible standard (gold standard protocol) and which could not prove that the actual product itself worked in the human body.
Well that was 12 years ago now and I have been taking and recommending this product ever since. Oh and if you are taking a multivitamin you really need to consider changing to a wholefood concentrate. There is enough compelling research results now showing what we have always known - Nobody can put life into an isolated vitamin or mineral. It is estimated that ten to fifteen thousand phytonutrients are interconnected and interrelated with vitamins, minerals, and enzymes in every fruit, vegetable, and berry. Isolating these from each other, and trying to replicate them artificially just does not work. Furthermore, taking the wrong supplements or mega-doses of single nutrients can also be difficult for the body to eliminate, or even toxic.
10,000 nutrients in a natural environment versus 1 nutrient in an unnatural environment...it’s a no brainer!
If you are struggling to achieve the minimum required amounts of fruits and vegetables in your diet every day, I recommend that you take a look at our information page Thrive Healthy Living - Juice PLUS+
Exercise 3-5 times per week for 30 minutes
The National Physical Activity Guidelines for Australians recommends at a minimum 30 minutes of moderate physical activity on most days of the week (check your local guidelines they will be very similar!)
Increase your endurance
Have healthier muscles, joints and bones
Increase your metabolism
Lose weight & tone up
Have more energy
Experience a sense of well-being and be better able to cope with stress
Be better able to get to sleep and stay asleep
Reduces the chance of degenerative diseases
Lots more to talk about on this subject so stay tuned. Oh and please keep your eye out for a special guest appearance from Patricia also who will be providing the next article on Diabetes here at Thrive Healthy Living!
We are fortunate to have people who are passionate and committed to the health and wellness of others and who take time out to provide informative articles to support what we are working to achieve.... together making a difference!