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OPINION | We have to properly evaluate whether we’re leading healthy lifestyles or not – News24

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Tuesday, 16 November
15 Nov
South Africa has the highest ratio of obese or overweight adults in Africa: about seven out of 10 women and four out of 10 men are either overweight or obese. This makes them especially vulnerable to developing diabetes. In fact, after tuberculosis, diabetes is the second-highest underlying cause of natural death in South Africa.
With the world’s spotlight having been fixed on the Covid-19 pandemic, World Diabetes Day on 14 November is a critical opportunity for us to do an urgent inventory of our lifestyles.
Far too many people are not diagnosed with diabetes until many years later, by which time, significant damage has often occurred. Without treatment or sufficient support, those with the condition are at risk of developing a range of serious, life-threatening health complications such as blindness, leg amputation, heart attacks, stroke or kidney failure.
Diabetes is the result of our bodies not being able to break down sugar effectively. Our body’s cells need energy; we get this when glucose (sugars) is broken down by the insulin hormone, which is produced naturally by the pancreas. When people develop diabetes, the pancreas has begun to deteriorate and is unable to produce or use insulin well, resulting in high blood sugar levels that can cause irreparable damage to organs, nerves and body tissue if left untreated.
There are two main types of diabetes: type 1, where the body does not make any insulin at all, and type 2, where the body does not produce enough insulin or cannot use it effectively. Both types come with serious symptoms that have to be managed carefully and diagnosed at an early stage, especially at a time when the incidence of diabetes is projected to increase by an astonishing 250% within the next 10 years.
More recently, the focus on the Covid-19 pandemic has shifted public awareness and some resources away from the diabetes epidemic, even though people living with the disease are disproportionately affected by the virus and often require ventilation or admission to ICU wards.
There are several reasons for this growing epidemic of obesity and diabetes in South Africa. While in some cases there are genetic factors, many of us are living sedentary lives, sitting behind office desks for much of our working day instead of exercising our muscles doing manual work in the open air. Rather than walking to work, we drive cars or catch buses and taxis to the office.
And, very often, we eat badly. Many find it easier to grab low-cost, high-energy take-away meals and sugary drinks instead of buying healthier foods to prepare at home.
Our children are also leading more unhealthy lifestyles. It is not uncommon to see visibly obese parents at shopping malls accompanied by their equally obese or overweight children eating fatty, sugar-rich ice cream or deep-fried snacks at 9am on a Saturday morning. Apart from looking after our own health, we also have to take responsibility for the diet and lifestyle choices of our children.
Living healthily is a challenge for many of us in these fast-paced times, but we have to take time out to properly evaluate whether we are leading healthy lifestyles or not: what are we eating; can we cut out junk food; are we getting enough exercise and sleep; and are we nurturing meaningful relationships?
Families also need to determine whether they are encouraging their children to develop bad habits. This is especially important in communities that have a higher prevalence of the disease.
At a national level, the prevalence varies between 6% to 8%, and research indicates that it can be as high as 25% in the Indian community and mixed-race communities in the Western Cape. While a genetic component is suspected, lifestyle and nutrition appear to be the more significant factors, such as the way food is prepared.
This year, the International Diabetes Federation has adopted the theme Access to Diabetes Care: If Not Now, When? for World Diabetes Day. We believe that ensuring early access to diabetes care is critical, because it is a progressive disease that, without substantial weight loss, cannot be cured. So the earlier it is controlled, the better.
Unfortunately, diagnosis is made after only eight to 12 years in countries with an efficient healthcare system. In South Africa, it could be even longer.
Unlike tuberculosis, for example, where patients start to cough incessantly, diabetes is not a bothersome disease in the early stages. Someone may have the beginnings of high sugar levels, yet might not feel unwell. But then they generally start to develop excessive thirst, urinate more frequently or eat and drink more than usual.
That is why we advocate regular health checks to detect diabetes among at-risk individuals, such as people over the age of 40, those who are obese or overweight, who have hypertension or heart disease, and those who have a family history of the disease.
The good news is that in South Africa, there is much better access to free or affordable treatment than in most other countries on the continent; this includes access to world-class medication at primary healthcare level.
Those living with diabetes also need to take charge of their condition and demand good care from their GP, clinic, hospital or specialist, and insist that their healthcare providers do the regular checks that we refer to as the 4Bs and 4Cs.
The 4Bs are the things that need to be controlled as well as possible:
The 4Cs are complications that should be assessed for at least annually:
*Professor Paul Rheeder, Senior Specialist Physician at the Steve Biko Academic Hospital’s Department of Internal Medicine and Director of the University of Pretoria (UP) Diabetes Research Centre, and Dr Patrick Ngassa Piotie, Project Manager of the Tshwane Insulin Project at the UP Diabetes Research Centre.
18 Oct
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Health and Lifestyle

7 Delicious Snack Ideas for People with Type 2 Diabetes – Prevention.com

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Snacking can actually help manage your blood sugar. Try these tasty options.
At some point along the way, snacking got a bad reputation as something you shouldn’t do. But choosing healthy snacks is actually smart for your overall health—especially if you have type 2 diabetes. Those with the condition don’t make enough insulin or don’t use insulin well. Insulin is something our bodies need to move glucose (sugar) into cells so it can be used for energy. When this process goes awry, it can cause high blood sugar levels.
But what you put into your body may help. “For some people, snacking between meals may help with blood sugar management,” says Liz Weiss, M.S., R.D.N., host of the Liz’s Healthy Table podcast and blog. The goal is to pick nutrient-rich foods and small snacks that help support your healthy eating goals and keep your blood sugar in check.
“Focus on gut-healthy fiber, good-for-you fats, and nutrient-rich foods that provide important vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants,” Weiss says. She recommends reaching for snacks that contain lean protein, whole grains, and non-starchy fruits and vegetables. And try to steer clear of processed foods, refined carbs, sweetened drinks, and high-sodium chips.
Not sure where to start? Try out some of these nutritious, delicious DIY snack ideas from Weiss.

This dish is simple to make, and it’s packed with good-for-you nutrients. “Tuna is a source of high-quality protein,” Weiss says. “And avocados promote satiety and are low in sodium, sugar, and cholesterol.” Together, these ingredients can help fill you up and keep your blood sugar steady.
To make, mix a can of tuna with a few tablespoons of chopped red onion and dollop of light mayo or plain Greek yogurt. Then, halve an avocado and scoop the mixture inside a half. (You can wrap the other half and save it for tomorrow.)
Prefer something on the sweeter side? This delicious snack uses BOOST Nutritional Drinks to help you get plenty of protein along with important nutrients like calcium and vitamin D. Choose between chocolate-flavored BOOST Glucose Control Nutritional Drink or BOOST Glucose Control Max 30g Protein Drink—both drinks are clinically shown to produce a lower blood sugar response compared to a standard nutritional drink in people with type 2 diabetes —but the latter may be a better bet if you want even more protein in your diet to support your active lifestyle.

To make this recipe, pour just eight ounces of either drink into a container with a tight-fitting lid. Add three to four tablespoons of chia seeds, secure the lid, and shake vigorously. Refrigerate until thick, anywhere from three hours to overnight. Divide between two bowls and top with berries and a dollop of plain Greek yogurt. The nutritional drinks combined with chia seeds give you a protein-packed snack that can help you feel full for hours, Weiss says.
“Half a cup of small curd cottage cheese has over 12 grams of satisfying protein, and some research shows that it may help manage blood sugar,” Weiss says. And berries are packed with fiber to help slow digestion and keep your blood sugar even. Opt for reduced-fat cottage cheese to keep saturated fat in check.
All you need to make this dish is a bit of cottage cheese, some berries, and pantry staples. Layer cottage cheese in a small bowl with a handful of fresh blueberries or raspberries, along with a few tablespoons of whole grain breakfast cereal and chopped nuts.

A nice perk of this snack is you can mix it in bulk and split it into handful-sized portions to eat throughout the week. The sweetness in the mix comes from the raisins and dried apricots, which don’t contain added sugar, Weiss points out. “A handful of this trail mix delivers healthy fats, fiber, and protein,” she says, and can help stabilize your blood sugar levels.
To make it, simply combine lightly toasted walnuts and almonds with pumpkin or sunflower seeds. Then mix in raisins or chopped dried apricots. Be sure to keep the serving of fruit to 1 or 2 tablespoons to avoid blood sugar spikes.
Got peanut butter and an apple at home? You’re ready for this snack. Core a red or green apple and cut it into thick rings. Then spread one to two tablespoons of peanut butter over the rings. Top them with a few tablespoons of chopped nuts and raisins, and a sprinkling of whole-grain oats.
“​​One medium apple has over four grams of fiber,” Weiss says. “Add some nut butter, chopped walnuts, oats and raisins to the mix and you’ve got a snack that’s filling and satisfying with over seven grams of fiber.” Fiber, she points out, can help manage blood sugar as well.
Traditional store-bought muffins are packed with white flour and added sugar, Weiss says. And that can lead to blood sugar spikes and drops, leaving you feeling lousy. Instead, use protein-rich eggs to create snack muffins.
To make, whisk together six eggs with two tablespoons of shredded reduced-fat cheddar or mozzarella cheese. Add a cup of finely chopped non-starchy vegetables, like broccoli, cauliflower, tomato, or onion, or a blend of each. Spray six muffin tins with nonstick spray, fill them with the egg mixture, and bake at 350°F for about 18 minutes. Snack on one today and refrigerate the others in a sealed container to eat later in the week.
Make your own charcuterie board at home! Weiss likes this snack because it’s packed with protein and fiber. “Hummus is often enjoyed as a dip, which encourages more vegetable consumption,” she points out.
Start with a mini serving board and set a small bowl of hummus alongside carrots, broccoli florets, radishes, celery or any other combo of non-starchy vegetables. Apple slices and almonds round out the mix.

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10 Ways To Lead An Eco-friendly Lifestyle With Kratom – E/The Environmental Magazine

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Worldwide environmental changes are the most important topics that have received far too much attention recently. Living things, such as animals and plants. People have made big changes as a result of these worries. Eco-friendly alternatives, for example, have been making a huge move away from plastic.
Kratom may be used as part of a healthy lifestyle. However, what exactly is an “eco-friendly lifestyle with kratom”? When you choose, it has a positive impact on the environment and reduces your carbon footprint. Consequently, your daily routine will become even more ecologically and energy-conscious. You may not believe it, but Kratom may play an important role in helping people live more ecologically.
Products derived from Kratom make a substantial contribution to living by assisting in developing an environmentally friendly ecosystem and fostering sustainability, among other things. Here are a few examples of how Kratom helps to a more sustainable way of life:
Keeping kratom farms running is among the most environmentally friendly farming methods on the globe. Kratom may be found in Southeast Asian jungles. Rather than cultivating fields, these peasants use decentralized agriculture, which is a more energy-efficient farming method. Kratom trees can thrive in tropical jungles because of decentralized agriculture, enabling them to flourish with their natural ecosystem.

Furthermore, kratom growers do not disrupt natural habitats in these locations. As a result of deforestation, the habitats of many species are completely destroyed. Ecologically responsible production cycles may be achieved with Kratom since these ecosystems are not disturbed. There’s no such thing as a plantation-based farming system.
The health and the environmental advantages are inseparable. Even though Kratom isn’t well studied, it’s becoming more and more popular throughout the globe. The medicine is receiving less attention, but that doesn’t mean it’s missing out on being seen as less important. The therapeutic advantages of red vein sumatra kratom have been openly discussed by many users, including first-timers and aficionados. This is proof that Kratom should rise in popularity.
Kratom leaves may only be gathered from mature trees that are at a minimum of 3 years old. This means that the tree may continue to grow naturally for a long time before it has to be taken down. One of the most crucial aspects of Kratom’s eco-friendly living. These trees benefit the ecology since they are seldom cut down. It’s also worth noting that mature trees provide a higher quality yield.
There is an issue with the notion of self-sufficiency since palm trees are indigenous to Africa, and oil palm is made from palm oil plants. How? Palm oil plants emit carbon dioxide into the atmosphere; plantation of palm palms has contributed to an increase in world temperatures; 193 highly endangered species throughout the globe are directly impacted and impeded by palm oil production.
It’s also bad for the environment since palm tree cultivation produces a lot of destruction, and its manufacturing greatly influences groundwater levels. Moreover, the kratom business in Southeast Asia is already in direct competition with palm oil plants. Oil palm tree planting, on the other hand, is more appealing to farmers.
Removing rainforests for agriculture directly impacts a variety of species, including those found in the rainforests. However, natural ecosystems and animal habitats are not disrupted by decentralized kratom cultivation, which is environmentally friendly.
For a variety of reasons, Kratom is becoming more popular. One of the chief causes is that it encourages rainforest preservation, which is excellent for the environment. Also, it offers several health advantages. As a result, demand is expected to skyrocket in the next months or even years.

Some jurisdictions prohibit the sale or ownership of Kratom altogether. For example, it is now prohibited in Washington, D.C., to possess or use Kratom even though it is allowed in Virginia as of February 2019. However, the FDA has utilized its jurisdiction to regulate dietary supplements to limit the importation of Kratom.
Thanks to the rise in reputation and demand for Kratom, farmers no longer have to pick between a healthy way of life and financial success. Instead, farmers can enjoy the best of all worlds because of the increasing popularity and demand for Kratom.
Additionally, Kratom may be cultivated in farming pods in tiny backyard farms — as a result, when collected, there is no substantial impact on the ecology.
Kratom has been investigated as a possible supplement for sexual enhancement purposes. Experts looked at various clinical investigations and revealed their results on the aphrodisiac properties of Kratom, which they called amazing. They concluded that Kratom is a powerful plant-based sexual enhancer.
According to other research, kratom has also shown promise as an antidepressant and a hunger suppressant. For example, in one experiment conducted, researchers discovered that Kratom reduces the levels of the stress hormone corticosterone in rats. Elevated corticosterone levels have been linked to Depression in the past.
Leading a sustainable lifestyle may be challenging. The influence you can make, on the other hand, is enormous. Using Kratom to lead a healthier approach helps you contribute to the preservation of the health & welfare of our planet for future generations.
Just keep in mind that lowering trash and carbon emissions may go a great, long way toward achieving a more environmentally friendly atmosphere. Furthermore, using natural goods like Kratom derived from sustainable agriculture techniques will help you minimize your carbon impact significantly. We can make a difference in the world if we work collectively.
If we are serious about protecting our ecosystem and Mother Earth, then we must act quickly. Our activities have a direct impact on the ecology and our immediate environment. Furthermore, these farming methods, which kratom farmers have implemented, encourage long-term viability, and we must ensure that they are carried along for future generations.
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Health and Lifestyle

Amazon’s new Halo View Fitness Tracker sees first pre-order discount to $50 (Reg. $80) – 9to5Toys

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Amazon is now offering the very first discount on its new Halo View Fitness Tracker. Dropping to $49.99 shipped in three styles as a pre-order, this upcoming release is slated to launch on December 8 with a retail price of $80. Having just been revealed back in September, this is your very first chance to lock-in any kind of savings and a notable 38% discount at that, too. As only Amazon’s second entry into the world of fitness trackers, its new Halo View arrives with an AMOLED display alongside 7-day battery life. On the actual tracking side of its feature set, you’ll find the usual measurements like sleep and heart rate joined by the ability to check blood oxygen levels, body measurements, and various other health and wellness stats. Dive into our launch coverage for a closer look and then head below for more.
Also on sale today, Amazon has the Halo Band Fitness Tracker marked down to $54.99. Down from $100, this 45% discount is delivering a new all-time low at well below our previous offers. This alternative arrived as Amazon’s first in-house fitness band and packs a screen-free experience with heart rate monitoring, sleep tracking, and body composition measurements.
Those after something a bit more premium can currently lock-in the first promotion on the new Withings ScanWatch, too. With a bundled $50 gift card, this is likely as good as it will get for the latest and great from Withings this holiday season. That’s of course alongside all of the other markdowns in our fitness tracker guide, too.
Starting a new health and wellness journey is easier when you have a great partner. Your Halo View (and your Halo membership) will be there with you every step of the way. Halo measures the quality and quantity of your sleep to provide a nightly Sleep score, personalized insights, and suggestions to help you sleep better. 
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