Mentally tiring work ‘increases diabetes risk in women’
Women who find their jobs mentally tiring are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes, according to brand new research that analysed data from 73,517 women over a 22-year period Life races past at 100pmh, I mean it’s nearly April already – When did that happen? When you’re balancing a demanding schedule, it can be hard to maintain healthy habits. It’s often easier to grab a fast food lunch, miss out on your 8 hours sleep and guzzle down 5 coffees with 2 spoonfuls of sugar to keep you going.
If you’re concerned that your tiring job is putting you at risk of developing the ‘lifestyle disease’, our experts are here to help you implement a healthy lifestyle in the workplace…
The biggest epidemic of the 21st century
“According to the World Health Organization, at least 422 million people were living with diabetes in 2014 compared with 108 million in 1980. In the UK alone, almost 3.7 million people have been diagnosed with diabetes and this number will rise to over 5 million by the year 2025 if nothing is done to curb what has been described as the biggest epidemic of the 21st century.
“The main underlying factors relate to diet and lifestyle – being overweight/obese and not getting enough physical activity. Eating sugary foods and sugar-sweetened drinks contributes to weight gain, which in turn, increases the risk of type 2 diabetes, but the current consensus is that sugar has no unique diabetes-causing effect on its own. If you have diabetes, however, it’s important to cut back on sugar intake as consuming sugary foods and drinks will increase your insulin needs and worsen your glucose control,” explains Dr Sarah Brewer working in association with the Type 2 Diabetes supplement CuraLin, (www.curalife.co)
Did you know that “you could have pre-diabetes if your waist measures more than: 94cm (white European males), 90cm (South Asian or Chinese males) or 80cm (females).”
Let’s not panic - It’s possible to reverse the effects of type 2 diabetes
“Everyone is different and there are no guarantees, but in some cases it is possible to regain normal glucose control by following a healthy, low GI diet, losing excess weight and increasing your level of physical activity. In those who are overweight or obese, a weight loss of greater than 5% body weight appears necessary for beneficial effects on glucose control (HbA1c), blood lipids (cholesterol, triglycerides) and blood pressure. Greater degrees of weight loss lead to progressive improvements in glucose control in type 2 diabetes. A weight loss of 10% body weight can prevent future diabetes in people with prediabetes or metabolic syndrome,” explains Dr Sarah Brewer”
You could also try Ayurvedic herbs: “Ayurvedic herbs are traditionally used to reduce food cravings and improve glucose control. The CuraLin website features numerous written and video testimonials from people whose diabetes management has been transformed by this natural herbal remedy which can also increase energy levels and help curb appetite. If you are already taking a prescribed medicine to treat type 2 diabetes, it is important to check with your doctor first,” advises Dr Sarah Brewer.
Food for fuel
Implementing healthy eating in the workplace can not only cut the risk of type 2 diabetes but it can also help with productivity and concentration on those long tiring days - “The health and wellbeing of employees make an essential contribution to business success. What we eat generally provides at least 60% of our total daily food intake on an average working day, and since food fuels the body and brain, it can make or break whether we have a highly productive efficient day or a slow listless one,” explains London's leading Nutritionist, Lily Soutter (www.lilysoutternutrition.com).
“The office cake tray culture is rife within the workplace. Whilst there is nothing wrong with enjoying an afternoon sweet treat, an abundance of energy dense sweet foods can increase the risk of weight gain and it’s associated health conditions. This in turn may increase absenteeism and affect productivity. When it comes to offices snacking, ‘out of sight out of mind’ really is key. Remove barriers to change and get to the root cause of the issue by providing nourishing office snacks for longer lasting energy and optimal brain function,” adds Lily.
Top tip: “Snacks that balance blood sugar and provide an element of protein and fibre are a top choice for productivity. Try fresh fruit, nut butters, natural yoghurt, hummus with crudités, oatcakes with healthy toppings such as cottage cheese and tomato. For a sweeter alternative opt for dark chocolate, energy balls or a low sugar wholemeal banana loaf,” advises Lily.
Give yourself a natural energy boost
Rather than reaching for a sugary doughnut, the biscuit tin or a coffee with two sugars, opt for a natural food supplement such as, sense* for busy lives powder (RRP: £6.99, Boots). “From the antioxidant rich acai berry, to beetroot, which is associated with boosting exercise performance, to guarana providing a natural way of getting your caffeine hit. sense* for busy lives is a targeted multivitamin that provides you with essential daily nutrients, to help you feel less overwhelmed and ready to face the challenges when trying to keep up with life’s demands,” explains Accredited Nutritionist MSc/BSc at Sense* (www.senseproducts.co.uk), Dimitra Sentelidou.
Final note – it’s ok to say no sometimes
Staying late isn’t part of your contract, occasionally you may have to do the odd thing after hours, but when you don't need to, go home on the dot and put your feet up - “If you feel the symptoms of stress coming on, learn to get your priorities right. There is nothing in your life right now more important than your health. Learn to say no if you feel that you have taken on too much. Being assertive is invigorating and empowering. It also helps to make lists of what is, or is not a priority, and to tackle the priority tasks first. This will help give you a sense of control,” advises Dr. Marilyn Glenville (www.marilynglenville.com) and author of Natural Alternatives to Dieting.