Canadians are known around the world for being polite, easy going and according to my international students, we apologize for everything. We can apologize all we want, but when it comes to health – and more specifically diabetes - it's going to take more than just an apology to start making some positive changes and seeing results.

According to 2017 statistics, there were 2.7 million Canadians with diabetes. That number is expected to rise to 4.2 million by 2020. On top of that, it's estimated that an additional one million have diabetes but have yet to be diagnosed. And nine out of 10 diabetics have type two diabetes, formerly known as Adult Onset Diabetes. Why the name change? Simple. Due to the rise in obesity, kids included, children are now being diagnosed as having what was in decades past something reserved for adults.

Seniors are another demographic with alarming statistics. They make up a whopping 48 per cent of the diabetic population in Canada today and again, this number is also expected to rise. There is definitely something not quite right. I can't be the only one who finds it alarming that our next generation is acquiring diseases you and I never even thought about as a child. Or that stats on disease are “expected” to continue to rise. It's time to stop being so polite, stop tippy-toeing around in an effort not to hurt feelings and start making some necessary changes to not only stop the increase in diabetes, but to reverse disease in those currently living with it.

Type 2 Diabetes is categorized as a lifestyle disease. What does it mean if we say something is a “lifestyle disease”? It means quite frankly, the lifestyle you've been leading led you to where you are today. That may be a difficult pill for some to swallow, especially since pills may also be part of our overall health crisis. Don't get me wrong, I am not anti-doctor, nor am I anti-medicine. We do need both of these for sure. I am however, anti “I don't need to change, there's a pill for that.” Time to for some hard truths.

Medicines for lifestyle diseases treat the symptoms, they don't cure or reverse the disease. It's like stepping on the end of a rake left out on the lawn and the handle comes up and hits you right in the face. What would you do? You could wrap some foam around the handle so it won't hurt as much next time. Or, the more sensible option is to put the rake in the shed so you won't step on it next time you're out in the yard. Medicines that merely treat symptoms are tantamout to wrapping the rake handle in a foam. It's an option, but clearly not the best one. Time to put the rake in the shed.

What does that look like when it comes to taking steps to prevent those statistics from rising and start reversing diabetes? Here are six simple things you can do to get started. Try adding in one each day and see how your life will begin to change.

  1. Eliminate all packaged/processed foods – and yes this does include ready-made drinks like Boost, Ensure, Glycerna and the like. These drinks are marketed under the guise of health but are loaded with sugar, artificial sweeteners and synthetic vitamins. You're much better off to buy a good qualaity protein shake or make your own smoothie using egg whites, coconut or almond milk and frozen berries.

  2. Eliminate all sugar and artificial sweeteners – and yes, this does include regular and diet soda. If you really want to know how much sugar you're consuming, take the number of grams listed on the label, divide by four and you will have the teaspoon equivalent. Yep, shocking.

  3. Eat PFC every three to stabilize blood sugar. Having a protein, healthy fat and fruits or veg carb together every three to four hours throughout the day will balance blood sugar and help you lose weight

  4. Drink lots of water – two to three litres per day mimimum

  5. Move every day. You don't need a gym membership, you just need to get up, get out and move every day

  6. Manage your stress. Chronic stress keeps cortisol levels elevated, makes blood sugar spike, and the body also stores fat. All things you don't want for a healthy body and life.

And if you're still not sure you need to start making some changes, Alzheimer's has long been referred to by doctors as Type 3 Diabetes. Nobody wants to put themselves at risk for that. I'll leave you with this great quote by Paul Zane Pilzer, “There is a small demographic of people getting healthier as they age, and it's not an exclusive club.” Join the club. It's never too late to start getting results. And if you're not sure how to get started, I'm here to help. Book your complimentary assessment here and get started today.

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