It's a modern curse. The disease of our times. Fueled by eating too much of the wrong things and not enough exercise. And serious enough to end in death or severely damage vital organs. But with proper exercise and a careful diet, people with diabetes like Perth mum Jodie Schroder can still enjoy a full life.

Matt Harris is an exercise physiologist. Exercise that targets the cardiovascular system, and resistance training, like weights, work best. "if you're walking and your getting your heart rate up to a signifigant level where your functioning to a point that's really challenging that's what i would agree with." And Matt's sees incredible success stories. "People have dropped 30 or 40 kilos as a result their blood profiles have come down so they've started with a diabetic blood profile but its dropped below that"

For diabetics, it's important to increase your heart rate. "Going for a walk and dicussing My Kitchen Rules with a friend doesn't cut it - that's considered activities of daily living - people need to be challenging their systems. So engaging in moderate to intense phycial activity. In my mind exercise means improving your life so you've got choice so in my mind its a no brainer"

"It's quite safe and recommened for people with diabetes to have at least their two pieces of fruit a day and many people can have more than that." Sue Stockdale is a dietitian from Diabetes WA - she's an expert on that other key factor for diabetics - diet. Sue says there are ways to eat well and feel full, safely. "People with diabetes we would recommend that they try to fill half of their plate with vegetables.

People with diabetes really can quite freely east as much as they like of most vegetables because the carbohydrate content is quite low." But be wary of a humble favourite. "Sue the potato is an area you need to be mindful of is that right? Yeah potatoes contain a lot more carbohydrates than the vegeies we were just speaking about so people with diabetes do need to watch their portion sizes quite carefully."

And, watch out for nuts. "You can see that these almonds have 54 point 7 grams of fat. So you can say that pack of almonds is more than half fat" But nuts are still a good option - in moderation. "That's because the type of fat that's in the almonds is a healthy type of fat - it's mostly unsaturated fat"

For diabetics, what's the message in the meat section. Well in the meat section we would suggest you go for the lowest fat option possible." Sue says "we would suggest you go for the cuts that are very very lean - something like this cut here where there's very little fat within the meat itself. .43 rather than this one down here - is quite fatty."

Generally, food with a low glycemic index - or G-I - means glucose is absorbed more slowy into the body, so blood sugar levels don't get too high. Low GI foods are best for diabetics - like less processed whole grain or brown bread. And with a wide range of ingredients, there's so many choices for tasty meals.

Further Details

Diabetes WA


Diabetic Recipes

Recipe taken from: The Low GI Cookbook. Published by Hodder Australia, 2005. Authors ; Prof Jennie Brand-Miller, Kaye Foster-Powell and Joanna McMillan-Price.

10 Exercise Tips

Information prepared by: Matthew Harris

MSc (Ex Rehab), GradDipSc (Ex Rehab), BSc

Accredited Exercise Physiologist

For further information contact: www.exerciseforlife.net.au