Diabetes Awareness Month Q & A with Jane Dummer RD
November 13, 2018
November is Diabetes Awareness Month. Diabetes Canada reports there are 11 million Canadians living with diabetes or prediabetes. The shocking fact is that, in Canada, about 90 per cent of people with diabetes have type 2 diabetes. Every three minutes, another Canadian is diagnosed. Chances are that diabetes affects you or someone you know.
Making one small change towards a healthier lifestyle, like adding oats to a balanced diet, can make a big difference in reducing your risk for type 2 diabetes. We checked in with Registered Dietitian, Jane Dummer for her healthy lifestyle advice.
Q1: What is type 2 diabetes?
Type 2 diabetes occurs when the body can’t properly use the insulin that is released (called insulin insensitivity) or does not make enough insulin. As a result, sugar builds up in the blood instead of being used as energy. Type 2 diabetes more often develops in adults, but children can be affected.
Depending on the severity of type 2 diabetes, it may be managed through meal planning, and physical activity or may also require medications and/or insulin to control blood sugar more effectively.
Q2: How can we reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes?
Often your best defense for preventing type 2 diabetes is to make lifestyle changes that work for you long term. Follow a healthy dietary pattern with foods high in fibre. Maintain a healthy weight. When weight is reduced to a healthy range, there usually is a significant improvement in blood sugar levels. I recommend weighing yourself once a month to confirm you’re maintaining a healthy weight for your height. Use the BMI as a general guideline. Keep in mind, excess abdominal fat are risk factors for both type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
Stay active by aiming for 30 minutes of physical activity at least five times per week. Develop a routine to manage stress. And get seven hours of restful sleep each night.
Q3: Why eat oats?
Research suggests a structured lifestyle with a healthy eating plan, along with maintaining a healthy weight can reduce the risk and progression of type 2 diabetes. Rogers Foods Oats and Oat Blends are low glycemic index (GI) foods with the soluble fibre beta-glucans. These yummy oats and oat blends are slower to digest and don’t raise blood sugar quickly so it works well at maintaining glycemic control (blood sugar levels) over a longer time period. The fibre beta-glucans helps you feel full longer; in turn you won’t be tempted to overeat.
Therefore, eating oats on a daily basis as part of a healthy lifestyle can promote stable blood sugar levels and may assist in the prevention of type 2 diabetes. I suggest enjoying oat based recipes to your meals at least five times per week.
Q4: How much fibre is optimum?
Following a nutritious, well balanced dietary plan with high fibre foods like oats, fruits, vegetables, seeds, and nuts can assist in maintaining a healthy weight. The Institute of Medicine’s Dietary Reference Intakes (DRIs) identify 38 grams of fibre per day for men and 25 grams for women. When adding fibre, start slow and drink more fluids as you increase your intake.
If you’re at risk for type 2 diabetes it’s important to consult with your dietitian or health professional to determine a personalized dietary plan with the ideal amount of fibre that’s just right for you.