Move more, eat smart to prevent or delay diabetes
More than taking the right amount of prescribed medication at the correct times, experts are now in agreement that those with diabetes must also eat smart and move more.
During this year’s “Sweet Escape: Hataw Galaw,” a diabetes public awareness event organized by FAME (Friendly Alliances and Media Expressions) Inc., guests speakers urged the public to start moving—walk, dance, or work in the yard—as having a regular physical activity is important for people with diabetes and those at risk for diabetes.
“The goal is to get active and stay active—not necessarily join a triathlon or do bench presses—by doing things you enjoy like joining a Zumba class, playing tennis to walking the dogs,” urged Dr. Augusto Litonjua, regarded as the Father of Philippine Endocrinology and currently, president of Philippine Center for Diabetes Education Foundation Inc.
According to the International Diabetes Federation, the Philippines is one of the world’s emerging diabetes hotspots. Ranked in the top 15 in the world for diabetes prevalence, it is home to more than 4 million people diagnosed with the disease.
“But there might be equal or even more unknown number who are unaware they have diabetes. And this what worries us,” said Litonjua.
According to Dr. Joy Arabelle Fontanilla, head of the Center for Weight Intervention and Nutrition Services of St. Luke’s Medical Center-Global City and editor in chief of DiabetEASE Magazine, there must be a massive information dissemination on the burdens of the disease and how it can be prevented.
According to the Nutritionist-Dietitians’ Association of the Philippines, there really is no such as thing as a “diabetic diet“ as foods that are healthy for people with diabetes are also good choices for the rest of the family.
While there is no need to prepare special diabetic meals, there must be consistency in amount of carbohydrates (yes, carbohydrates are not bad for diabetes), time when meals and snacks are eaten, and portion sizes must be consistently maintained every day.
No meal must be skipped or delayed, NDAP reminded.
Cardiologist Rafael Castillo, publisher of FAME Publishing, reminded guests during the event that considering that more than half of people aged 65 or older with diabetes die from some form of heart disease while a significant few die of stroke; that adults with diabetes are two to four times more likely to have heart disease or a stroke than adults without diabetes; and the fact that diabetes is one of the seven major controllable risk factors for cardiovascular disease, Filipinos should take diabetes more seriously.
“The important thing is for one to have a periodic testing to assess whether you have developed any of these risk factors associated with cardiovascular disease. Talk to your doctor how to deal with these risk factors and follow doctor’s recommendations,” he said.