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Lifestyle changes to manage Type 2 diabetes

It’s one of the questions we get asked at Sweet Life all the time. Do I have to change my lifestyle – and my diet – to manage Type 2 diabetes?

diabetes diet

Lifestyle disease?

Well, that depends. Most of the time, Type 2 diabetes is caused directly or indirectly by issues of diet and lifestyle – it’s sometimes called a ‘lifestyle disease’. That said, there is a strong genetic component, so it’s not helpful to think that you ‘gave yourself diabetes’. That kind of attitude isn’t going to help you live a healthy, happy life with diabetes.

Take a close look at your lifestyle. Do you think it’s one of the reasons you were diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes? Do you eat a lot of fried, fatty food? Is there enough fresh fruit and vegetables in your diet? Do you eat a lot of processed food or refined carbohydrates? Do you eat large portions, even if you’re no longer hungry? If so, it might be time for a lifestyle revamp. Take a look at Sweet Life’s Ask the Dietician articles for advice on a healthy diabetes diet. You can learn to manage Type 2 diabetes.

Family with diabetes

One of the hardest things for newly diagnosed diabetics is making the changes necessary for their health, while still being part of the family. For many people, family meals are an important part of the day, and having to either eat a different variety of a meal or eat at different times or in a different way (a plate of food instead of sharing from communal plates, for example) is a difficult adjustment. Some families are fantastic at supporting the newly diagnosed, others find it too much of a challenge. Sweet Life has written about the challenges of family life with diabetes in our Partner’s Corner articles – you can find out more about families with diabetes here.

Manage Type 2 diabetes

Remember that it’s important to sit down and explain to your family why you need to make certain changes, and how they can benefit from them too. Those who have adopted a healthier lifestyle – one that’s rich in fresh food and regular exercise – not only see the effects in their blood sugar results, but in their overall wellbeing.

Have you had to change your lifestyle because of diabetes?

Photo by Dan Gold on Unsplash
Published inJust DiagnosedTips & Advice


  1. […] Type 2 diabetes is the more common type of diabetes (90% of diabetics have Type 2 diabetes). It is often caused by diet and lifestyle. In Type 2 diabetics, the pancreas still works, but the body is resistant to the hormones and can’t process them effectively. Type 2 diabetes, also known as diabetes 2 or sugar diabetes (in South Africa) is most common in adults – although large numbers of children are being diagnosed these days. People who are overweight or who have diabetes in their family are more at risk. The medication is usually tablets followed by injections at a later date if necessary. If it is caught early enough, Type 2 diabetes is reversible with a change in diet and exercising more. […]

  2. […] and insulin resistance. Occurring most often in people who are overweight, the first step to managing this type of diabetes is lifestyle change, through exercising, healthy eating and losing weight if necessary. As the condition progresses, […]

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