Let’s beat diabetes

By: Zalikha Razali

La Juiceria celebrates World Health Day 2016 on April 7th and this year’s theme by the World Health Organisation is Beat Diabetes. Diabetes is pretty common in Malaysia and it is a growing concern.

Diabetes is a disease in which the body does not produce or properly use insulin, a hormone that is needed to convert sugar, starches, and other food into energy needed for daily life. There are 3 types of diabetes, type 1, type 2 and gestational diabetes with the most common diabetes being type 2 diabetes.

Diabetes mellitus is a condition where sugar levels in your body is high. This condition occurs when the body is not producing enough insulin or there is a disturbance with the insulin production.

What Causes Diabetes?

  1. Food that we eat is digested and converted into sugar as sugar is the main source of energy for our body
  2. The sugar that had been converted will flow into blood vessels
  3. The pancreas produces less or no insulin at all
  4. Therefore, there is no sugar for the body tissue
  5. Sugar will remain in the blood vessels and lead to high blood sugar level


Diabetes mellitus cannot be cured BUT it can and must be controlled by :-

  1. Well Balanced Diet
  2. Regular Exercise
  3. Medications

What are the risk factors?

  1. Genetics
  2. Age
  3. Less physical activity
  4. Unhealthy eating
  5. Overweight/Obese
  6. History of gestational diabetes

Warning Signs of Diabetes

  1. Frequent urination

Normally, the body will reabsorbs glucose as it passes through kidneys. As sugar is high in the blood, the body will produce more urine to remove the sugar from the body and cause more frequent urination with more volume.

  1. Increase thirst

Frequent urination will lead to loose high volume of fluids and the body becomes dehydrated and thirsty.

  1. Weight loss

The body will get energy from the muscles and fats as it does not have the ability to metabolize glucose into energy even when you consume more. This will eventually lead to weight loss. The excess glucose is released in the urine.

  1. Excessive hunger

When the body is unable to use glucose for energy, the body will alert the brain that the body needs energy.

  1. Blurred vision

The fluids level in the body is changing and can make the lenses in the eyes swell up and caused blurred vision (change shape and ability to focus)

  1. Fatigue

This is because the body can’t convert the glucose in the blood for energy.

  1. Areas of darkened skin

It is called acanthosos nigricans and it may be caused of insulin resistance and will lead to diabetes. The area such as armpit, groin and at the back of the neck always been affected.


How to control your blood sugar by maintaining a well-balanced diet?

1 Eat the right amount of food

Carbohydrate is the main source of energy for our body. However, you need to know your carbohydrate portion as carbohydrate will also be converted into sugar after digestion. The elevation of blood sugar depends on the amount of the carbohydrate you consume in your meal. Therefore, the carbohydrate intake should be monitored and controlled to maintain the blood glucose level within the normal range. There are 6 types of carbohydrates:

  • Rice, cereals and cereal products

Example: rice, pasta, bread, oats, biscuits, thosai, chappati, spaghetti, bihun

  • Starchy vegetables

Example: potato, carrot, corn, pumpkin, sweet potato, yam

  • Beans and legumes

Example: red beans, chick peas,

  • Fruits

Example: banana, apple, papaya, orange, guava

  • Dairy products

Example: cheese, yogurt, milk

  • Sugar

Example: brown sugar, honey, coarse sugar, fine sugar, any types of sugar

2. Eat consistently

This is important – Remember to have consistent timing. This is because your liver will have consistent timing to produce insulin.

3. Eat healthy food

Eat a well-balanced meal and choose healthier options. Avoid taking sugary, oily and processed food as it is high in calories and it damages your health. Diabetic patients need to strictly control their sugar intake as the body is unable to metabolize it. Eat in a right amount and portion, we suggest to use the plate method.

Remember to include more vegetables in your diet. Vegetables are high in fibre which has a variety of vitamins, minerals and high in fibre as well. Fibre is a type of carbohydrate (just like sugars and starches). It is not broken down by the human body and it does not contribute to any calories. Fibre helps the body to feel full and that is why fibre have its benefits and it is important to include in the daily diet for diabetics, as well as those who are not. The average person should consume between 20-35 grams of fibre each day.

Malaysia is known for our rich variety of food but we are lacking with our vegetables servings. Therefore, the easiest way to include vegetables in our diet is by drinking. La Juiceria provide the Greens to fulfil your vegetables recommendation per day. For a diabetic patient, we recommend taking Goodness Greens and Cilantro Celery punch as the vegetables and fruits is up to 1 kg with sugar content is 9g and 7g for each bottle. Some people find it hard to eat the average 5-7 serving of vegetables but by drinking cold-pressed juices, you can easily achieve your daily vegetables and fruits serving.

Apart from vegetables intake, as mentioned above, avoid food that is high in fat and salt as both will lead your body to another disease such as cardio vascular disease and hypertension. As an addtional information, La Juiceria also have the Mylk series, Almond Mylk (4g), Chocolate Almond Mylk (6g) and Vanilla Cashew Mylk (4g). All of the mylk series is suitable for the diabetic patient and it contains  vitamins B (riboflavin and niacin) vitamin E, calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, and zinc. Almond is also known as heart-healthy food as it is a monounsaturated fatty acid (MUFA) which may lower the LDL cholesterol. Phytosterols such as beta-sitosterol, stigmasterol, campesterol, sitostanol, and campestanol in almond is also associated with cholesterol-lowering properties. Other than that, the Mylk is also helping for maintaining the blood pressure.

4. Exercise

Remember that exercise helps to lower the blood sugar and help to prevent diabetes (for those who is not diagnose with it). The recommended time is at least 20 minutes per day, 3 times per week. If you can exercise longer, it is even better. Be consistent and exercise every week. Exercise gives your body a lot of benefits. It can help to lose weight, lower your blood sugar, increase metabolism and boost the insulin sensitivity which can help to keep the blood sugar within the normal range. Research has shown that exercise and resistance training can help prevent diabetes. Not only for these benefits, remember that it is an important thing to do for our own health benefits.

If a person has higher risk for diabetes such as family history, being overweight, etc, it is important for the person to take precaution to prevent and slower the progression of getting diabetes. It is World Health Day 2016 – “ Beat Diabetes” let’s together, prevent diabetes and control oursugar level! Don’t let diabetes make your body unhappy and weak! Making a few simple changes in your lifestyle now helps you avoid any disease and illness.

Hope that above information helps!

Juice on!

Thank you so much for your time!