Did you know that complications from cardiovascular disease is the number one leading cause of death in diabetics? With 85 percent of Australian diabetics diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and numbers increasing, its important to look at other risk factors associated with the disease.
The National Diabetes Education Program concluded that 65% of people with diabetes will die from heart disease and/or stroke. Other conditions that increase this risk include high blood pressure, problems controlling blood glucose levels and obesity. It’s a vicious cycle, but one that can be prevented. Type 2 diabetes can be controlled, possibly reversed with a change in lifestyle. The facts don’t lie, here are some further statistics from the NDEP:
- Controlling blood glucose levels can reduce a cardiovascular event by 42 percent.
- Controlling blood pressure can reduce cardiovascular disease risk by up to 33-50 percent.
- Improving cholesterol levels can reduce cardiovascular disease complications by 20-50 percent.
Here are three key recommendations:
Maintaining a healthy weight: Being obese or overweight increases your risk of developing both diabetes, cardiovascular disease
Exercise: Exercise is medicine. Exercise can assist with maintaining a healthy weight as well as being a preventative measure for cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. You should be aiming for 30-60 minutes on most days and completing a mix of aerobic (cardio) and resistance training. Research suggests that resistance training is beneficial in maintaining and controlling blood glucose levels.
Diet: A diet low in saturated fats, sugar and salt is recommended and high in fruit, vegetables, grains and fibre.
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