The Canadian Diabetes Association (CDA) is urging members of the community to change their lifestyles and keep blood glucose level under control to prevent kidney and heart diseases.
To promote Diabetes Awareness Month (November), the CDA and its South Asian Diabetes Chapter hosted the 8th annual South Asian Diabetes Expo at the Sagan Convention Centre in Mississauga last Saturday.
This year the focus of the expo was keeping kidneys healthy.
More than 300 visitors from all across Peel region attended the expo, which included some 30 exhibitors such as service providers, health professionals and pharmacists.
“South Asians are at high risk of developing diabetes,” said Siva Swaminathan, chair of the Canadian Diabetes Association's South Asian Diabetes Chapter. “When blood sugar is not maintained properly, it can cause complications including heart and kidney diseases.”
She said the event is an opportunity for many visitors to understand how to monitor blood sugar and eat healthy.
“Predominantly, (South Asians) eat white rice or bread. With type-1 and 2 diabetes, we need to eat much healthier. Whole grain is very important component of eating healthier diet because it has a lot of fiber and gives you a good glucose without spiking your blood sugar like white rice and things like naan,” said Swaminathan.
She urged people to reduce salt and eat whole wheat bread instead of white bread.
According to the CDA, more than 10 million Canadians live with diabetes or pre-diabetes and 20 Canadians are diagnosed with diabetes every hour. Diabetes is the cause of 30 per cent of strokes, 40 per cent of heart attacks, 50 per cent of kidney failure requiring dialysis and 70 per cent of non-traumatic amputations, as well as being a leading cause of amputations and blindness.
“The number of people living with diabetes in Ontario is expected to increase by 48 per cent over the next 10 years, growing from 1.5 to 2.3 million people,” said Anne Le Quang, CDA’s senior manager of programs, services and partnerships in Ontario. “When it comes to diabetes and your well-being, staying informed by going to community expos and meeting the experts is key to staying healthy.”
The event offered entertainment including Bollywood music and dance.
The Canadian Diabetes Association, a registered national charity, helps the more than 10 million Canadians with diabetes or pre-diabetes live healthy lives, and educates those at risk.
In communities across Canada, the association offers a wide array of support services to members of the public, health-care professionals as well as advocates to governments, schools, workplaces and others on behalf of people with diabetes.
For more information, visit www.diabetes.ca.