Diabetes UK Northern Ireland is marking the start of the Chinese Year of the Monkey on February 8 by urging our Chinese community to check their risk of Type 2 diabetes.
There are a number of contributing factors to increasing the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes and ethnicity is one of those factors.
The Chinese community should be aware of Type 2 diabetes as symptoms could start to show at a younger age.
However, there are further risk factors, such as being overweight, which you can do something about.
Maintaining a healthy weight will help to reduce your risk, and finding out your risk early is the first step to lowering it.
Diabetes UK Northern Ireland is encouraging our Chinese community to adopt positive changes in the Chinese New Year, such as eating a healthy, balanced diet and doing more physical activity.
Dr David Chaney, National Director at Diabetes UK Northern Ireland, said: “Chinese New Year marks a new beginning and it is a great opportunity to take a look at your lifestyle and make any changes you need to.
“And as Chinese people are at increased risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, getting to know your risk and finding ways to reduce this is a good first step.”
If you do have diabetes and have lots of big meals and celebrations coming up over the Chinese New Year, it is worth planning in advance how you will approach them.
There is no need to miss out on any food and you can still enjoy your favourite dishes in moderation or by trying out healthier versions.
If you test blood glucose levels at home, it is important to do this more frequently during this period, as it will help you understand how your food choices affect your diabetes control.
Whether or not you have diabetes, if you are looking for healthier ways to cook traditional dishes, Diabetes UK’s Enjoy Food initiative has recipes including beef chop suey, chicken chow mein and tofu stir-fry.
Anyone wanting to find out their risk of developing Type 2 diabetes can visit: www.diabetes.org.uk/riskscore. You can also find lots of recipes and dietary advice at www.diabetes.org.uk/enjoyfood