Staying healthy can sound pretty complicated, with advice changing frequently — do this, eat that, never try those. So we asked a group of health specialists to give us their single most important piece of advice, especially for diabetes health.
The Optometrist – WEAR SUNGLASSES
You should be as cautious with your eyes around sunlight as you are with your skin. Protecting against UV light helps reduce the risk of cataracts and age related macular degeneration, which can lead to blindness. Make sure you have a good quality pair of sunglasses that meet strict EU regulations. Diet also helps protect the eyes against UV damage. Eat five portions of fruit and vegetables daily, for your diabetes health.
The Nutritionist – EAT ONLY WHEN YOU ARE HUNGRY
Don’t just eat because it’s lunchtime. Understand when you’re hungry and eat then and stop eating when you’re full. If that means not eating breakfast until mid-morning or postponing lunch until 3 p.m., then go with it. It’s been shown that people who eat in this more mindful way, eat less across the day, which can help with weight maintenance. This in turn can assist in many areas of health, including lowering risk of heart disease, diabetes and some cancers.
The Gyaenacologist – CHECK YOUR VITAMIN D LEVELS
Low levels of vitamin D are incredibly common, especially during the winter. Around 40-50% of women of reproductive age have low levels, yet it’s essential for women’s health. It plays a role in bone health, fertility and foetal growth if you do become pregnant. Deficiency can also be responsible for minor health problems like fatigue, muscle pain and poor sleep. Get tested!
The Stress Expert – DON’T BE SO RIGID!
My one “rule” would be have fewer rules! A lot of stress is created by ourselves as we try to fit around rigid beliefs or ideas about what we should do or how we should do them. If we were all just a little bit more liable in our thinking, if we stopped trying to be so perfect, we’d create a lot less stress in our own lives.
The Gastroenterologist – DON’T JUST REACH FOR FIBRE
The first thing anyone with digestive problems does to try to improve things is increase fibre. It doesn’t help everyone with IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) and there’s also a type of constipation called slow-transit constipation for which this is the worst solution. It’ll just lead to more bloating, wind and pain. If you are raising fibre and things get worse, stop. In addition, if you make any changes in your diet to improve digestion and you see no change within four weeks, stop! Too many people are missing out on important foods unnecessarily or because they think they just need to give it more time, but if a diet change is going to help, you’ll notice within four weeks.
The Cardiologist – KNOW YOUR RISKS
Many women have no idea of their risk of heart disease and that’s particularly true in women under 50. Ask your doctor about your risks and do what you can to change any aspect that needs alteration. That might mean reducing your weight, stopping smoking, tackling raised cholesterol or blood pressure and doing at least 150 minutes of exercise a week. If there’s a family history of premature heart disease, this is even more essential for diabetes health.
The Dermatologist – DO EAT SOME FAT
Dermatologists don’t advocate a low-fat diet. An intake of good fats, such as coconut oil, avocado, olive oil or nuts, slows down the skin’s wrinkling process. Do avoid vegetable oils, these are high in omega-6 fats that have an inflammatory effect in the body. To keep your skin beautiful, eat plenty of good fat and of course, always wear sunscreen.
The physiotherapist – BEND BACKWARDS REGULARLY
Most of the bending we do each day involves forward bending and this creates an imbalance in the body, which leads to poor posture, pain and spinal problems. Get up every now and again and gently bend backwards, or simply arch your back in your chair even that’s enough to help balance things.
The Dentist – SPEND MORE TIME CLEANING
For good dental hygiene, you need to brush for two minutes, twice a day. Most of us brush for 30 seconds, but that’s not nearly enough time to remove all the plaque and prevent decay. Smell your dental floss after using it because, usually, it smells gross and that’s the scent of bacteria having a party where your brush can’t reach. It generally encourages people to keep using it. Floss or use an inter-dental brush twice a week.
E327 – Diabetes Health, is it a Crime to Care? – www.diabetic.today