My desire to avoid diabetes came from watching a video on YouTube entitled Sugar the Bitter truth . It is a long video but explains why sugar, sugary drinks and processed foods are not suitable for anyone who wants to have good health.
At 92 kilos in July 2020, I knew I was carrying too much body fat for my height. I was also aware that this would be a major complication should I get Covid-19. I consulted my GP and decided to begin a diet.
Your waist measurement is one of the most straightforward ways to track your health. I needed to reduce my waist and resorted to eating just one meal a day. I ate only freshly prepared meat and salads, followed by yogurt and stewed raspberries.
I cut out eating sugar and highly processed foods. I ate more meat and meat fat, and found this more comfortable than I expected. I avoided seed oils like Canola and sunflower oil in any of the foods I ate. These oils are now known to promote weight gain.
My reduced sugar plan and intermittent fasting had positive results. My blood pressure dropped, I lost 22 kilos in less than 10 weeks without much exercise, my liver enzymes went from being average to optimum, and I had more energy in the day and a better quality of sleep at night.
With my goal achieved, it is now important to maintain the gains made. I skip breakfast but eat two meals a day. Processed food is out. I continue to eat healthy fresh food. I aim for 45 minutes or more brisk walking a day, at a minimum.
This new lifestyle is so important in avoiding diabetes. Type 2 diabetes accounts for more than 90% of all cases. The main risk factors are a family history of diabetes, overweight, lack of exercise and high blood pressure/cholesterol.
Anyone with one or more of these risk factors should, in my opinion, get screened regularly by their GP. Use online resources to help lower your exposure to sugar and refined carbohydrates by understanding that the body does not need a lot of free sugar. Recent WHO guidelines recommend not more than 10-14 teaspoons of sugar per day, which is equivalent to 40- 56 grams of free sugar. One can of 330 ml Soft drink can contain 40 grams of sugar. For health it is recommended not to drink your calories and avoid sugary drinks.
Eamonn Sampson is the Diabetes officer in Dun Laoghaire Lions Club. You may contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org