Today (November 14) is World Diabetes Day, a day to raise awareness about this condition and encourage people to do what they can to prevent it.
According to the Australian Diabetes Council (ADC), people are diagnosed with this disease at an alarming rate.
ADC chief executive Nicola Stokes is reminding everyone that there are ways to minimise the risk of developing diabetes, such as eating well and managing blood sugar levels.
"Diabetes is Australia's fastest growing chronic disease, with one person being diagnosed every five minutes. The good news is that managing blood glucose levels can significantly reduce the risks of developing diabetes," Ms Stokes said in a statement.
When it comes to managing blood sugar levels, you need to have a good understanding of the Glycemic Index (GI).
Foods are generally broken into three categories - high GI, medium GI and low GI. If a food is high GI, it means that the sugar enters your bloodstream quickly.
High GI foods can leave you feeling hungry shortly after eating and often cause spikes and dips in energy levels. Examples of these foods include lollies, chocolate, commercially baked goods, white bread, pasta and rice and potatoes.
On the other hand, low GI foods release into the bloodstream slowly and steadily, helping to ensure that your energy levels do not fluctuate. Fruits, vegetables, legumes, proteins, grains and low-fat dairy are all examples of low GI options.
Following a low GI diet has not only been linked to minimising the risk of diabetes - it is also good for overall health and wellbeing and is said to promote weight loss.
The main ingredient that you want to avoid on this type of eating plan is sugar. The good news is that natural sweeteners Stevia and Xylitol do not have an effect on blood sugar levels, meaning that they are safe to eat with diabetes.
Make healthy eating a priority on World Diabetes Day by exploring how options such as Stevia extract can help you eat well without compromising on flavour and enjoyment.