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Stop! Think About Diabetes. Now Choose Your Diet and Lifestyle Wisely (PART 2)

17-Nov-2014.By: Elsie Osho


Diabetes is nearly four times as common as all types of the popular cancer we hear about, combined. It is fast becoming the 21st century's major public-health concern. Although many people have wrong notion of “diabetes as an illness suffered by only the elderly in the society. Some even think Diabetes is peculiar to the elite few. Maybe this would have been correct many years back; but today diabetes can occur in anyone. Strange but true.


Recent statistics from World Health Organisation (WHO) and International Diabetes Federation (IDF) which reported a global estimate of 347 million people living with Diabetes, with 19.8 million people from Africa. According to IDF 2013 report, Nigeria has the highest number of people with diabetes in Africa, with 3.9 million cases and 4.9% national prevalence rate. Reports from WHO show that more than 80% of diabetes deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries and that diabetes will be the 7th leading cause of death by 2030.


In the first part of this article, we highlighted the various types of diabetes and some other diseases related to or resulting from diabetes. Diabetes can be avoided or managed successfully if developed already, the most important thing to work on first is your diet, there are also medications that can help manage the situation that should only be prescribed by a medical practitioner. You may also have to avoid a diet high in protein, fat, sodium , and potassium.


  • §Cut back on protein, especially animal products such as meat. Damaged kidneys may fail to remove protein waste products from your blood. Diets high in protein make your kidneys work harder and fail sooner.
  • §Avoid a high-fat diet. High-fat diets are high in cholesterol. Cholesterol is a type of fat found in your body’s cells, blood, and many foods. Your body needs some cholesterol to work the right way. For example, your body uses cholesterol to make certain essential hormones and maintain nerve function. However, your body makes all the cholesterol it needs. If you often eat foods that are high in cholesterol, or if high cholesterol runs in your family, extra cholesterol in your blood can build up over time in the walls of your blood vessels and arteries. High blood cholesterol can lead to heart disease and stroke, some of the biggest health problems for people with diabetes.
  • §Avoid high-sodium foods. Sodium is a mineral found in salt and other foods. High levels of sodium may raise your blood pressure. Some high-sodium foods include canned food, frozen dinners, and hot dogs. The amount of sodium is listed on the food label, so you can see which foods have the highest levels. Try to limit your sodium to less than a teaspoon a day, or about 2,300 milligrams (mg) a day. If you have high blood pressure or are African American, middle-aged, or older, aim for no more than 1,500 mg of sodium per day. Ask your doctor or your dietitian about how much sodium you can have.
  • §Ask your doctor about the amount of potassium you need. Potassium is a mineral that helps your heartbeat stay regular and muscles work right. Healthy kidneys keep the right amount of potassium in your body. However, if you have severe kidney damage, high levels of potassium may cause an abnormal heart rhythm or even make your heart stop, called cardiac arrest. Some high-potassium foods include apricots, bananas, oranges, and potatoes.
  • §Stop smoking, it will only worsen the situation. Adopt a diet and lifestyle that are enjoyable and doable for you and can prevent, or at least slow, complications from diabetes.
  • §To successfully manage diabetes, you need to understand how foods and nutrition affect your body. If you have been diagnosed with diabetes, seek the expert advice of a registered dietitian nutritionist to help you manage the disease while ensuring you get the nutrients your body needs.

Do not keep this information to yourself, spread the word; you could be helping someone.

Last Updated: 13-Jul-2017 10:09 AM





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