Don't become another diabetes statistic

Did you know that nearly 900,000 people are diagnosed with diabetes at some point in their lifetime?

Last week the report card Australia's Health 2012 was published by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) and it revealed that in 2007-08, approximately 898,000 people said that they had been told they were diabetic.

To make matters worse, the report also identified diabetes as being one of the leading causes of death in the country.

"Among developed countries, Australia has relatively high death rates from heart disease, diabetes, and chronic lung disease," said AIHW director and chief executive David Kalisch in an official statement on June 19.

It is possible that our diet could be contributing to this concerning statistic - especially given that the report card revealed that the majority of Australians are not eating as well as they could be, or getting enough physical activity.

"Many Australians eat too few vegetables, fruit and wholegrain cereals, and eat too many foods high in fat, sugar and salt," Mr Kalisch said.

"And almost 60 per cent of Australians over 15 don't do enough physical activity to benefit their health," he added.

As diabetics will know, it is important to follow a strict healthy diet when diagnosed with the condition.

Having diabetes affects your blood sugar levels - it is an ailment where your body can no longer convert sugar into energy, instead leaving glucose in your blood.

According to Diabetes Australia, those who are overweight are at risk of developing the condition, as well as those who have a family history of high blood pressure.

If you believe you could be at risk, you may want to consider making some changes to your lifestyle.

With the right approach, it's not very hard to become healthier - and happier.

It's all about understanding what foods you put into your body so that you can start to make healthier choices - that, and having a touch of self-control.

While it is important to seek the advice of a medical professional, many people may find that limiting their sugar intake is a good place to start.

It may be worth exploring what healthy sugar alternatives there are on the market. Stevia extract is a sweetener that is completely natural and contains no aspartame.

Swapping sugar for Stevia may help you to become healthier, without having to sacrifice your sweet tooth.

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