Veggies like broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and legumes are ideal for a healthy diet. (

Veggies like broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and legumes are ideal for a healthy diet. (

FITNESS: Diet, exercise key to good health

In North America, 1 in 10 people is diabetic and 1 in 3 is pre-diabetic

Ron Cain | Contributed

North America is experiencing rapid inflation – in waistlines.

Why is abdominal fat of concern? When you eat more calories than your body needs, they get stored as fat. Body fat, especially around the belly, is linked to insulin resistance, also known as pre-diabetes.

Being pre-diabetic is like playing strip poker and getting down to your undies – you may not be naked, but one more lousy hand, and you’ll be in bad shape. But there is still time to quit the game.

ALSO READ: How to make wise choices to achieve weight loss

If you have been gambling with your diet, you have some debts to reduce, and it’s going to take regular payments of diet and exercise to stay out of trouble. Pre-diabetes should be a wake-up call for learning how to play a better hand.

How bad is it? In North America, 1 in 10 people has diabetes, and 1 in 3 is pre-diabetic. In addition, almost 90 per cent of people with diabetes are overweight.

If you are overweight, passive, and over 40, you need to talk to your doctor about testing for insulin resistance along with cholesterol and blood pressure.

In pre-diabetes, the body has a problem processing blood glucose, and instead of fuelling the cell sugar in the bloodstream, it increases to unhealthy levels.

There is good news: with early diagnosis of insulin resistance, the potential for reversing the situation is excellent if the right choices are made.

The right choices are not always the easy choice – no pills, no two-week crash diet from a Hollywood actor, no fancy machines that burn calories while you stand there. But, on the other hand, there is little point in making unsustainable choices – yes, you can follow a low-carb diet or a paleo diet and lose weight. The truth is all diets are good at causing weight loss – they are even better at failing to keep the weight off.

Diet in conjunction with exercise leads to sustainable weight loss and a happier, healthier you. However, some specific foods are beneficial and need to be included in your new healthy eating pattern (which means you will eat this way for your entire life, not just until you lose 20 lbs). Here are a few foods to include:

Whole grains: Bulgur wheat is a whole grain you should consider. At least three servings daily of whole grains equals a 30 per cent reduction in risk for diabetes. However, fibre from refined grains doesn’t offer the same benefit as fibre from whole grains. Bulgur is Mediterranean in origin and is excellent in salads: start with chicken bones, make a broth, cook the Bulgur in the broth, cool and add salad ingredients.

Low-fat dairy: Higher levels of calcium and magnesium are linked to a lower risk of diabetes, but that does not include chowing down on lots of cheddar cheese. You need to select lower-fat dairy choices such as organic Greek yogurt.

Veggies, nuts and fruits: Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, blueberries, almonds, and biotin from organic sugar-free peanut butter plus cereals, legumes, etc. are excellent choices.

Fish: This animal protein is vital to cardiac health and helps fight inflammation in the body. In addition to including fish in your diet at least twice weekly, consider taking salmon or krill oil as daily supplements.


Ron Cain is the owner of Sooke Mobile Personal Training. Email him at

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

FitnessSookeSportsWest Shore

Just Posted

By protesting uninvited in First Nations’ territories, conservationists are acting in a neocolonial or paternalistic manner, says Huu-ay-aht Chief Robert Dennis. Photo by Heather Thomson
A closer look: do Vancouver Island First Nations support the war in the woods?

First Nations/environmentalist old growth alliance uneasy, if it exists at all

Victoria police continue to look for missing man Tyrone Goertzen and are once again asking for the public’s assistance in locating him. (Photo courtesy of VicPD)
Victoria police put out another call for help finding missing man

Tyrone Goertzen, 33, was first reported missing June 4

Rachel Rivera (left) and Claire Ouchi are a dynamic art duo known as the WKNDRS. The two painted the new road mural at Uptown. (Megan Atkins-Baker/News Staff)
Artistic mural at Uptown brings creativity, fun to summer shoppers in Saanich

Road installation the largest of its kind in Greater Victoria

Kathy and Doug LaFortune stand next to the new welcome pole now gracing the front entrance of KELSET Elementary School in North Saanich. LaFortune completed the piece after suffering a stroke with the help of his wife and son Bear. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
KELSET school in North Saanich unveils welcome pole on National Indigenous Peoples Day

Carver Doug LaFortune completed pole with the help of his son, wife after suffering a stroke

Colwood council is looking at potential summer weekend closures to traffic of a section of Ocean Boulevard at Esquimalt Lagoon, to allow for more of a park-like setting during summer events such as the popular Eats & Beats event, shown here in 2018. (Black Press Media file photo)
Mayor lobbying for summer weekend closures of beachfront Colwood roadway

Rob Martin to bring motion forward to June 28 council meeting

The border crossing into the United States is seen during the COVID-19 pandemic in Lacolle, Que. on February 12, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
VIDEO: Border quarantine to soon lift for fully vaccinated Canadians

Eligible travellers must still take multiple COVID-19 tests

Chilliwack secondary school’s principal is apologizing after a quote equating graduation with the end of slavery in the U.S. was included in the 2020-2021 yearbook. (Screenshot from submitted SnapChat)
B.C. student’s yearbook quote equates grad to end of slavery; principal cites editing error

Black former student ‘disgusted’ as CSS principal apologizes for what is called an editing error

Skeena MLA Ellis Ross. (Photo by Peter Versteege)
BC Liberal leadership candidate condemns ‘senseless violence’ of Okanagan church fires

Skeena MLA Ellis Ross says reconciliation isn’t about revenge for past tragedies

A coroner’s inquest will be taking place at the Capitol Theatre in Port Alberni for the next week. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
Teen B.C. mom who died following police custody recalled as ‘friend to many’

Police sent Jocelyn George to hospital after intoxication had gone ‘beyond the realm’ of normal detox

FILE - In this Nov. 29, 2020, file photo, Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Carl Nassib leaves the field after an NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons in Atlanta. Nassib on Monday, June 21, 2021, became the first active NFL player to come out as gay. Nassib announced the news on Instagram, saying he was not doing it for the attention but because “I just think that representation and visibility are so important.” (AP Photo/John Bazemore, File)
Nassib becomes first active NFL player to come out as gay

More than a dozen NFL players have come out as gay after their careers were over

Penticton Indian Band Chief Greg Gabriel speaks to the Sacred Hearts Catholic Church burning down early Monday morning, June 21, 2021. (Monique Tamminga Western News)
Penticton band chief condemns suspicious burning of 2 Catholic churches

Both Catholic church fires are deemed suspicious, says RCMP

COVID-19 daily cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day moving average to June 17, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infections drop to 90 on Sunday, 45 Monday

Pandemic spread dwindles as 77% of adults receive vaccine

Emergency vehicles are parked outside of the Wintergreen Apartments on Fourth Avenue. (SUSAN QUINN / Alberni Valley News)
Port Alberni RCMP investigate stabbing on Fourth Avenue

Two men were found with ‘significant’ injuries near Wintergreen Apartments

A blood drive in support of 1-year-old Rielynn Gormley of Agassiz is scheduled for Monday, June 28 at Tzeachten First Nation Community Hall in Chilliwack. Rielynn lives with type 3 von Willebrand disease, which makes it difficult for her to stop bleeding. (Screenshot/Canadian Blood Services)
Upcoming blood drive in honour of Fraser Valley toddler with rare blood condition

The Gormley family has organized a blood drive in Chilliwack on June 28

Most Read