Wednesday, November 09, 2011

World Diabetes Day is November 14 #EqualCanada #CBias

Did you know that November is Diabetes Awareness Month, and Monday, November 14 has been designated as World Diabetes Day? I had no idea, to be honest, in spite of the fact that diabetes has been part of our family life for over 30 years. With 9 million Canadians currently living with diabetes or prediabetes, it is really important to raise awareness about prevention and management of this incurable disease that can lead to so many additional health problems.
On November 10, the 4th annual Report on Diabetes will be released in partnership with the National Post. This 8 page report will work towards increasing public awareness, and features a cover story on singer Bret Michaels and his struggle with Type 1 diabetes. Michaels' involvement, and his image on the cover, should garner a lot of attention, which is great.

Testing blood glucose levels
The publication will cover a number of topics around prevention, management, and the effects of the disease, including such things as the importance of nutrition, diet and weight loss; glucose monitoring; and dealing with diabetes' disabling effects, such as neuropathy and retinopathy.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, my father was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes about 30 years ago. He has been insulin-dependent ever since his diagnosis, and in recent years has started to experience some of these debilitating effects of the disease. In particular, it was truly frightening to see him suffering from diabetic retinopathy, leaving him practically blind for almost a year. Treatments did bring back his sight, but it was a long road, and his eyesight will never be what it was.

As part of his management of his disease, my dad switched to artificial sweetener way back at the beginning. Although consuming too much sugar doesn't cause diabetes, it certainly complicates it. Diabetes is a disease in which the pancreas either doesn't produce insulin, the hormone necessary for our bodies to process glucose, or produces too little, or the body doesn't use the insulin properly. The management of blood glucose levels is critical for healthy living.  High blood glucose levels are what lead to such problems as reitnopathy, neuropathy, and heart disease. So, in addition to treatments with insulin and/or other medications, it is important to not add extra sugar into your diet!

For this Report on Diabetes, Equal Canada (featured as the only artificial sweetener included) will have a 1/4 page spread, including a diabetic-friendy recipe. Equal is recognized as an acceptable part of a diabetes meal plan by both the American Diabetes Association (ADA) and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF.) Each packet of Equal sweetens like 2 teaspoons of sugar, while containing only 1 gram of carbohydrates to the sugar's 8 grams.

In addition, substituting that one pack of Equal for 2 teaspoons of sugar each in your coffee and cereal each day will save you 20,440 calories per year. Since obesity is linked to diabetes, caloric savings, healthy eating, and exercise are key considerations in prevention as well.

Do you have a Sobey's supermarket nearby?  They have a special baking flyer out this week, and Equal Sucralose is on sale for $5.99. Try it in your favourite dessert recipe - diabetics and those watching their weight deserve sweet-tasting treats as well! Maybe you'd like to try this Carb-Conscious Chocolate Cheesecake. Lower fat and 76% less carbs than a traditional chocolate cheesecake recipe. Sounds like something I'd like to try!

In recognition of World Diabetes Day, and to help in the efforts to find a cure, I have made a donation to the  Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. If you would like to join me, you can donate here. 

For more information on Equal, you can visit the #EqualCanada website, @EqualCanada twitter page and Equal Canada on Facebook. You can find out more about World Diabetes Day on their Facebook page.

Disclosure: This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias. #CBias All opinions shared here are my own.

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