Diabetes – Reducing your risk

Diabetes is a chronic disease that affects more than 1.7 million Australians.  It occours when the level of glucose (a type of sugar) in our blood becomes higher than it should.

Glucose is the main fuel for our cells – providing the energy our body needs to function. When we eat foods containing carbohydrates (such as breads grains, cereals, pasta, noodles, rice, milk, yoghurt, fruit/ fruit juice, starchy vegetables, legumes, biscuits, crackers, cakes and other sugar-containing food and drinks) glucose is released into our blood and then relies on the assistance of a hormone called “insulin” to help it travel into the cells where it can be used for energy. In people with diabetes, the body either doesn’t produce enough insulin, or the insulin doesn’t work properly. This means that glucose is not able to enter the cells and so builds up in the blood, leading to serious health problems.

According to Diabetes Australia, 1 in 4 Australians will develop diabetes and more than 100,000 Australians are diagnosed with diabetes each year. Type two diabetes accounts for more than 90% of all diabetes in Australia. Many different factors affect our risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes, including our age, gender, nationality, family history, weight and lifestyle.

You can take this quiz to find out at if you’re at a high risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes: http://ow.ly/Pw26V

The good news is that we can reduce our risk of developing type 2 Diabetes by leading a healthy lifestyle including regular physical activity and healthy eating.

Aim for at least half an hour of moderate intensity exercise every day of the week, and follow the Australian dietary guidelines to reduce your risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes: http://ow.ly/Pw21d

  • Choose amounts of Nutritious foods to meet your energy requirements and maintain a healthy body weight.
  • Include a wide variety of food from the 5 food groups and drink plenty of water
  • Limit intake of foods containing saturated fat (replace with small amounts of unsaturated fats), added salt, added sugar and alcohol

If you think you would benefit from some extra help in developing a healthy lifestyle to prevent Type 2 Diabetes, you may be eligible to participate in the Victorian Government’s Life! program, which is a phone or group based health-coaching service for the prevention of diabetes and heart disease. Call 137475 or visit the following link for more information: http://ow.ly/Pw2ed

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