Take Type 2 diabetes seriously, I want to cry – by Pushpa Kalu


Pushpa-Kalu-150x150I’ve had Type 2 diabetes for around 12 years now and it’s taken me a long time to change my lifestyle around the condition and I know it’s not easy.

However, one thing which people don’t understand is how serious diabetes can be and once you have it, you really need to get on top of the condition. One gentleman I know – let’s call him Tim  – has been told he has early signs of Type 2 diabetes but he isn’t taking it on board and doesn’t recognise that he has to make some quite serious changes to his lifestyle.

He tells me the diabetes will go away as quickly as it came if he eats a little less of what he normally eats. You need to do much more than that, I want to cry.

To be fair to Tim, I know he has tried to eat more healthily, but he always goes back to his old ways. For example, he still dips into his sweet dish regularly while watching TV. He continues to eat chocolate croissants for breakfast on a daily basis, and that’s just a couple of things he shouldn’t be doing; there are lots more.

What frustrates me is that Tim doesn’t realise he needs to make far bigger changes than this in order to keep his blood sugar readings at a manageable level and reduce the risk of the many complications associated with diabetes.

I’m not trying to preach – it’s taken a long time to change my behaviour when it comes to eating. Which is why I know how important it is! It’s a fine balance telling your friends what to do – and far easier to keep quiet, but I also want to protect his well being. So it’s a quandary.

I want to be able to tell Tim to ditch the sweets for healthier snacks like nuts or fruit and swap chocolate croissants for cereal. I want to howl, do what I do and eat monkey nuts because they are healthier for you and they take twice as long to eat because of the time it takes to shell them. Plus, it is very therapeutic!

Another tip I have for my friend (once I find the audacity), is to swap white rice for brown rice. I’ll admit, it takes a bit of time to get away from the idea that brown rice tastes a bit like cardboard, but it’s got a delicious nutty texture and is far more interesting than white rice. You quickly become a convert. To make life easier, make a large portion of brown rice and divide into several portions and freeze it. That way it’s ready cooked, easy to grab and is delicious with a curry or a simple stir fry.

Now I just have to find a way to tell my friend what he needs to do. Easier said than done I think.

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