How to reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes

This Diabetes Week (14th – 20th June), Upfield – the producer of margarines and spreads- is helping to educate the UK about how people can reduce their risk of type 2 diabetes.

The significant impact that diabetes has on the UK is widely unrecognised, with one person diagnosed with diabetes every two minutes. There are certain factors that cannot be controlled in the risk of getting type 2 diabetes, however, monitoring diet and lifestyle choices can help to reduce the risks.

One dietary change is to restrict the intake of saturated and trans fats that increase cholesterol, the risk of heart disease, and the risk of type 2 diabetes. Increasing the amount of plant-based foods in the diet is good for people’s health, and switching from dairy butter to margarine is an easy route to achieve this.

Recipes from Flora ProActiv, Flora and Bertolli provide easy switches from dairy butter, and offer a variety of options for cooking, baking, and spreading alternatives that can easily be incorporated into a healthy diet, reducing the amount saturated and trans fats.

Upfield nutritionist, Rob Hobson, has shared top tips and easy switches, that can help to adopt a diet that can help to reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes: “When monitoring your diet to reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes, try to lower your intake of added sugars. Adults in the UK currently eat around 10tsp a day which more than the guidance of 6tsp daily. You can try switching to whole fruit as a healthy snack, adding spices, like cinnamon, to hot beverages instead of sugar and always check the front of pack labelling on manufactured foods.”

Damian Guha, General Manager of Upfield UK & Ireland said: “Diabetes affects more people in the UK than is widely recognised, and whilst developing type 2 diabetes cannot be entirely controlled, diet is a key element that can be controlled and will help reduce the risk. An easy change in diet would be to reduce the amount of trans fats we take in on a daily basis to help keep our hearts healthy.

“Simple switches like using margarine over butter, can help people reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes, and also help to manage the symptoms when living with diabetes. We are happy to support drive awareness around Diabetes Week this year and help to educate on the importance of diet, and how a healthy lifestyle can benefit those at-risk.”

Baked Potato with Vegetarian Chilli Topping

Ingredients (serves 2 people)

  • 20 grams Flora ProActiv Light
  • 2 baking potatoes
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small onion finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves crushed
  • 1 tsp tomato puree
  • 1/2 tsp chilli flakes
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 yellow pepper chopped
  • 1 courgette sliced
  • 1 tin chopped tomatoes
  • 1/2 can chickpeas drained
  • 1/2 can kidney beans drained
  • black pepper
  • mixed herbs

Instructions

  1. Bake 2 potatoes in the oven in the usual way (or start them off in the microwave to speed up the cooking process).
  2. Twenty minutes before the potatoes will be ready, heat the olive oil in a large pan. Add the onion, garlic, chilli flakes, paprika and cumin and fry for a couple of minutes.
  3. Add the pepper and courgette and fry for 3 minutes until they start to soften.
  4. Add the chickpeas, kidney beans, chopped tomatoes and tomato puree, some freshly ground black pepper and mixed herbs.
  5. Simmer gently for 15 minutes or until the chilli thickens to your taste.
  6. Take the baked potatoes from the oven and top each with 10g Flora ProActiv.
  7. Top with the chilli and serve.

Roasted Butternut Squash with Quinoa and Chickpeas

Ingredients (serves 2 people)

  • 1 butternut squash
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 125 grams quinoa
  • 20 grams Flora ProActiv Light
  • 100 grams cranberries
  • 120 grams chickpeas drained
  • 1 handful fresh parsley
  • 1/2 lime juiced
  • ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 200ºC/180ºC Fan/Gas mark 6. Cut the butternut squash in half lengthways. Scoop out the seeds with a spoon. Carefully cut the flesh out, to about 1.5 cm from the skin. Cut the pulp into cubes. Cover a baking tray with baking paper and place the two squash halves and the cubes on it. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Place in the oven for 30-35 minutes until the squash is soft.
  2. Meanwhile, bring the quinoa to the boil in double the amount of water. Simmer for 12-15 minutes until the water is absorbed. Take off the heat. Add the Flora ProActiv Light and mix with a fork.
  3. Mix the cranberries, rinsed chickpeas and parsley with the quinoa. Add the juice of the lime and season with some black pepper.
  4. Remove the butternut squash from the oven. Gently mix the squash cubes into the quinoa. Spoon the mixture into the hollowed-out squash halves and serve.