There are an estimated 4.8 million people in the UK with diabetes, and worryingly it can increase your risk of suffering life threatening complications if you catch coronavirus.
Has a doctor told you your weight puts you at higher risk of diabetes? Or perhaps you already have the condition?
The latest figures from Diabetes UK show that 4.8 million of us are now living with it.
The good news is, the latest research proves type 2 diabetes (but not type 1, which is not a lifestyle disease) can be prevented or even reversed in some cases.
Here are some simple changes you can make to lose weight and better control your blood sugar.
Ten top tips to get started
- Act now for the best results
People who have the greatest success at reversing diabetes have not had the disease as long as those who fail. So it is vital to get started on a weight loss diet as soon as possible after diagnosis.
But even if you cannot reverse it, serious weight loss will make managing the severity of the condition much easier.
Plus, weight loss slashes your risk of developing some of the terrible side effects of uncontrolled diabetes, including blindness and amputation.
If you have pre-diabetes, weight loss can prevent the onset of the full-blown condition.
- Ditch sugary AND diet drinks
Fizzy cans and even fruit juices are laden with sugar. Just swapping to simple water or tea will save 200-300 calories a day.
You should aim to drink two to three litres of fluid per day (unless your doctor has advised you to restrict fluid intake).
- Try a Med-style diet
Eating less red meat and more fish, wholegrains, olive oil, nuts and pulses, and fruit and veg, can cut your risk of diabetes by up to 80%.
- Eat 5 portions of fruit and veg
Fruit and veg are excellent sources of vitamins, antioxidants, fibre, isoflavones and other substances that are good for controlling blood sugar levels – vital in controlling diabetes.
- Get moving
Exercise lowers the high blood sugar levels that trigger type 2 diabetes – so get walking.
6. Stop smoking
Smoking increases your risk of diabetes by 40% – and the more you smoke, the higher your risk.
7.Boost your bacteria
Studies have shown a link between how well gut bacteria are flourishing and your risk of type 2 diabetes.
8. Eat at the table
Eating on the sofa while watching TV encourages mindless eating, which makes you eat more than you otherwise would.
Research shows intermittent fasting can help reverse type 2 diabetes.
10. Get to bed on time
Sleep deprivation increases high blood sugar levels, putting you at higher risk of type 2 diabetes – and worsening symptoms for those who have it.