Diabetes is a disease commonly referred to by doctors as diabetes melitus, describing a group of metabolic diseases in which the person has high blood glucose (blood sugar), either because insulin production is inadequate or the body’s cells do not respond properly to insulin, or both. Non-communicable diseases are the leading cause of death globally accounting for 71% of all deaths with diabetes as the fourth main contributor. Globally, 4.2 million deaths were recorded (International Diabetes Federation, 2019). The high mortality cases have created an urgency in the fight against this disease.
How does one detect the possibility of diabetes?
The most common diabetes symptoms include polyuria (frequent urination), polyphagia (excessive hunger), and polydipsia (excessive thirst). More signs include fatigue, unusual weight loss, cuts that do not heal, erectile dysfunction, numbness, tingling in the hands and feet, and blurry vision.
However, it is important to see a doctor if there is any suspicion of diabetes or if any of the above signs and symptoms are present – prompt diagnosis and management lowers the likelihood of serious complications.
Types of diabetes
- Type 1 diabetes (juvenile or insulin-dependent diabetes) is where little or no insulin is produced
- Type 2 diabetes (insulin resistance) the body does not respond to insulin. Type 2 diabetes accounts for 90% of diabetes cases
- Gestational diabetes occurs during pregnancy
- Pre-diabetes is where the sugar levels are high but not as high for diabetes classification
In 2019, approximately 463 million adults were living with diabetes and the number is expected to rise to 700 million by 2045 (International Diabetes Federation Report). Initially thought to be a disease of the rich, diabetes has become a growing problem in developing countries largely due to a rise in obesity. 79% of adults with diabetes are living in low- and middle-income countries (International Diabetes Federation Report, 2019).
Synonymous with other non-communicable diseases, physical inactivity, genes, age, and overweight or obesity are predisposing factors. More so, gestational diabetes, PCOS (Poly Cystic Ovary Syndrome), and high blood pressure are also to be blamed.
Identifying the signs and symptoms and being aware of the risk factors, are important in managing diabetes. Treatment involves the right medication, maintaining physical activity, and the right diet. Nutritional management includes;
- Having a balanced diet. All food groups should be present
- Considering complex carbohydrates instead of simple carbs that have a high glycemic index. Carbs should be minimized to ¼ plate
- Increased vegetable intake since fiber enhances slow absorption of sugar and regulates blood sugar level
- Consuming proteins with a low glycemic index; plant proteins. Animal proteins should be regulated
- Regular water intake
- Small frequent meals to avoid cases of hypoglycemia
- Reducing the intake of saturated fats, salt, and added sugars
- Cooking should not be limited to boiling. Healthier cooking alternatives such as grilling, braising, baking, poaching, broiling and stir frying should be adopted
When medication and diet are not strictly adhered to, other complications like high blood pressure, renal failure, cardiovascular diseases, blindness, nerve damage, gangrene, hearing impairment, pre-eclampsia for the expectant mother, and death occur.
When you’re managing diabetes, your meal plan is a powerful tool. Figuring out what to eat does not have to feel like a hassle. There are easy things you can do to add flavor to your daily routine—including healthy twists on your favorite foods. Winnie’s Pure Health range of flours and herbal infusions add zest into your pantry that will bring value to your body, mind and soul!
Try one of the following recipes: Remember, the secret lies in portion control.
|1. Terere Afya Date Nut Bread|
-1 cup dates (chopped)
-1/2 cup Winnie’s Pure Health Terere Afya
-1 cup boiling water
-2 Winnie’s Pure Health Organic Eggs
-1/2 cup Winnie’s Pure Health Honey
-1/4 cup ghee (melted)
-2 cups Winnie’s Pure Health Chapati Afya
-2 teaspoons baking powder
-1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1. Soak dates in boiling water
2. Beat eggs well, add honey and butter; beat well
3. Stir in all the remaining ingredients and mix well. Pour into a greased loaf pan
4. Bake at 180 degrees Celsius for 1 hour and 15 min
5. Cool for about 20 minutes then serve
|2. Poached Eggs|
-2 Winnie’s Pure Health Organic Eggs
1. Fill saucepan with about 3 inches of water
2. Heat until water simmers gently; break cold egg into small dish or saucer
3. Holding dish just above simmering water, gently slip egg into water. Cook in barely simmering water until white is set and yolk is cooked as desired for about 3 to 5 minutes
|3. Banana smoothie with Wheatgrass Powder|
-1/4 cup thick natural yogurt
-1 teaspoon Winnie’s Pure Health Organic Wheatgrass Powder
-1 chopped banana
-Handful of ice
1. Mix all the ingredients in a blender until well mixed then serve
|4. Wimbi Milkshake|
-2 tablespoons Winnie’s Pure Health Wimbi Afya
-2 cups chilled low-fat milk
-2 tablespoons Winnie’s Pure Health Honey
-1 tablespoon cocoa powder
-1 cup water
-1 teaspoon vanilla essence
1. In a sauce pan add Wimbi flour, cocoa powder and water. Whisk it well
2. Keep in flame and cook under low flame with continuous stirring. In a short time, it will be cooked well and form a mass. Switch off and cool it
3. Add into a mixer along with milk, honey and essence; blend well. Pour into a serving glass and enjoy the delicious, healthy drink