Lenny Henry and Art Malik discuss historic racism in Britain
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First embarking on a health kick back in 2014, Henry shunned the likes of bread, potatoes and rice, swapping them for sources of protein like tuna and chicken. As well as a health motivation for him physically, Henry was also inspired to keep fit and healthy due to his mothers battle with diabetes. After being diagnosed his mother Winifred lost both of her legs to amputation before her death back in 1998, something which has inevitably stayed with Henry through his own battle with diabetes.
Speaking about his own condition in the past, Henry has been reported saying: “I’m a bit diabetic, so I was put on a very strict diet.”
The Comic Relief figurehead explained he’d cut out sugar, cut down on alcohol and taken up yoga in his bid to support his health. “It’s lots of greens, lots of juice and lots of walking,” he added.
“My mum lost two legs through diabetes and eventually died from it, so I knew I had to lose weight.
“The doctor warned me I was heading the same way.
“Dieting is tedious but I feel better for it. I was finding it difficult to get in and out of the car. It’s hard, but like anything, if you put your mind to it, you can do it.”
As well as changing his diet Henry was driven to take up yoga and running, which also contributed to his weight loss.
Whilst preparing for his role in Shakespeare’s The Comedy of Errors back in 2011, the star needed to put in four hours of physical activity as part of the first week of rehearsals.
Following the run, the funny man kept to at least half an hour of Ashtanga yoga, Pilates, dance or military exercises.
The NHS explains that staying active and eating a healthy diet will help individuals to manage their blood sugar levels. In fact, individuals are more at risk of developing particularly type 2 diabetes if they are overweight or have extra weight around their middle.
This can be made even more difficult as some individuals unbeknownst living with type 2 diabetes may suffer from increased hunger and thirst, making healthy eating more difficult. Other potential symptoms of type 2 diabetes include:
- Frequent urination
- Unintended weight loss
- Blurred vision
- Slow-healing sores
- Frequent infections
- Numbness or tingling in the hands or feet
- Areas of darkened skin, usually in the armpits and neck.
Similarly for type 1 diabetes, symptoms can affect an individual’s thirst, need to pass urine and energy levels.
Diabetes UK explains that the main differences between type 1 and type 2 diabetes is the fact that type 1 is often genetic and type 2 is mainly lifestyle-related and develops over time. Additionally, type 1 diabetes occurs when the body attacks the cells in your pancreas which means it cannot make any insulin.
Whereas with type 2 diabetes, your body is unable to make enough insulin or the insulin you do make doesn’t work properly. Type 2 diabetes is also more manageable in comparison to type 1, but for both types a healthy lifestyle is recommended.
It is important to note that there is no specific diet for diabetes and individuals are still able to enjoy their favourite foods. However, those with type 2 diabetes are recommended to limit certain food and drinks such as:
- Fried foods and other foods high in saturated fat and trans fat
- Foods high in salt, also called sodium
- Sweets, such as baked goods, candy, and ice cream
- Beverages with added sugars, such as juice, regular soda, and regular sports or energy drinks.
If you drink alcohol, it is advised that you drink moderately. This means no more than one drink a day if you’re a woman or two drinks a day if you’re a man. It is also best to eat some food when drinking alcohol.
A healthy, balanced diet is all about variety and choosing foods from each of the main food groups: fruit and vegetables, starchy foods, protein foods, dairy and alternatives and oils and spreads.
Some people with type 1 diabetes may wish to adopt a reduced carbohydrate diet. Low carb diets can be helpful for people who are struggling to keep control on a carb centred diet and those who want to reduce the extent of post-meal high blood sugar levels.
However, Diabetes UK warns that a lower carb diet will require a reduction in insulin and could result in hypoglycemia if doses are not changed correctly. Due to this it is recommended to speak to your doctor before going onto a significantly different diet.
Remaining active will help individuals to keep their blood sugar levels low. They should be aiming to do at least 2.5 hours of activity a week. This could be anything that gets an individual out of breath, for example fast walking, climbing stairs or strenuous housework or gardening.
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