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National Diabetes Week (8-14 July)

National Diabetes Week (8-14th July) helps to raise awareness about the significant impact diabetes has on our nation.

What is diabetes?

Diabetes is a serious chronic condition that impacts the entire body, it requires self-management and and if diabetes develops further it can significantly impact someone’s daily life. It is a condition that can cause blindness, kidney failure and lower leg amputations. Whilst there is no cure to diabetes, there are effective strategies to manage it by learning the condition.

There are three types of diabetes, each are complex and serious: type 1 Diabetes, type 2 Diabetes and gestational diabetes

How does diabetes affect the body?

A person with diabetes has difficulty using ‘glucose’ in the body, glucose is a sugar which is important for providing our body with energy. Unhealthy levels of sugar in the body can cause serious complications in the short and long term.

To ensure our body uses glucose effectively, our body has to convert glucose into energy. A hormone called insulin assists to convert glucose into energy. People with diabetes have trouble with this conversion as insulin is no longer produced or in much smaller amounts which means that when people eat cereals, bread, fruit, vegetables, dairy products and sweets it can’t be converted to energy.

Instead of being used as energy, the glucose sits in the blood and raises the blood glucose levels. Blood glucose levels can be tested to ensure it is within a normal range and is to be monitored and self-managed to ensure good treatment and care of their diabetes.

Are you at risk? 

There are community groups which are at a higher risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes. Many factors play a role in this such as lifestyle choices, genetics and cultural background.

Take the test developed by Diabetes Australia to see if you’re at risk:

Where to from here? 

It is really important to eat a well balanced diet including lean meats, low GI cereals, breads, rice and pasta and vegetables at meals. Ensuring we consume fruits everyday and adequate dairy products. Exercising regularly is very important – aiming for 1/2 hour – 1 hour a day of moderate-intense physical activity is ideal.

If you would like further nutrition advice, our Dietitian can provide you with individualised advice regarding your health and well-being.

Recipe of the month:

Salmon and pea pasta salad

Serves 2

Meal Prep: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 10 minutes

  • 100g farfalle pasta
  • 50g snow peas, halved diagonally
  • 1/2 cup (60g) frozen peas
  • 1 bunch asparagus, woody ends trimmed, cut into 5cm lengths
  • 1/2 x 185g pkt Coles Hot Smoked Salmon Pepper Fillets, coarsely flaked
  • 60g baby rocket leaves

Walnut and mint pesto:

  • 40g baby rocket leaves
  • 1/2 cup mint leaves
  • 1/4 cup (25g) walnuts, toasted
  • 1 small garlic clove, crushed
  • 2 tbs finely grated parmesan
  • 1/3 cup (80ml) olive oil

1.Cook the pasta in a large saucepan of boiling water following packet directions or until al dente, adding the snow pea, peas and asparagus in the last 2 mins of cooking. Refresh under cold water and drain well. Return the pasta mixture to the pan

2. Meanwhile, to make the walnut & mint pesto, place the rocket, mint, walnuts, garlic and parmesan in a food processor and process until finely chopped. With the motor running, add the oil in a thin, steady stream until well combined. Season.

3. Add salmon and rocket to the pasta mixture with half the pesto. Toss to combine. Serve with remaining pesto.

Recipe courtesy of:

References: Diabetes Australia. (2018). National Diabetes Week, What is Diabetes?.