Avoiding the Sugar Blues: A Casual Guide to Preventing Diabetes in the BVI

Hey there, beautiful people of the British Virgin Islands (BVI)! We’re about to dive into a topic that’s sweeter than your grandma’s secret fruit cake recipe but is also something we should take seriously: preventing diabetes. So grab a coconut water or some fresh mango, and let’s chat about how to keep our health in check with a dose of island charm.

What’s the Deal with Diabetes?

The BVI Diabetes Association is part of the International Diabetes Federation’s North America and Caribbean (IDF NAC) region which includes 23 countries. Globally, there are approximately 537 million people with diabetes.  In 2021, the BVI had a 9.4% Diabetes Rate. 1,900 people in the BVI had diabetes in 2021 and it is projected to increase. In the IDF NAC region, including BVI, there are over 51 million people with diabetes. By 2045, it’s estimated that the number in the region will increase to 63 million. Diabetes isn’t just a health issue; it’s a game-changer in your life. Imagine a world where you can’t enjoy sugar on the beach or have your favorite pineapple tart without worries. To avoid being one of these statistics, let’s talk about what we can do to keep the sugar beast at bay.

Island Bounty: Eat Fresh and Local

Our lovely islands are a paradise of fresh fruits, vegetables, and seafood. So why not make the most of it? Fill your plate with local goodness like breadfruit, sweet potato, and callaloo. These foods are packed with fiber and nutrients that can help regulate your blood sugar.

Moringa Seeds

Mind the Sugary Waves

We know it’s tempting, but try to limit your sugary drinks and snacks. Swap out those soda bottles for a glass of water infused with some fresh lime or ginger. Try chewing few Moringa seeds before drinking water for a seemingly magical sweetener.  You’ll not only quench your thirst but also save yourself from a sugar tsunami.

Get Moving in Island Style

Nobody said exercise has to be boring! Take a leisurely walk on the beach, go for a swim, or dance to some reggae tunes. Staying active helps your body use sugar for energy and keeps the extra pounds away.

Watch the Rum Punch

We get it, the BVI is famous for its rum. Enjoy a tipple here and there, but moderation is the key. Excess alcohol can lead to blood sugar spikes and liver issues. Sip and savor; don’t down it like you’re racing to Jost Van Dyke.

Get Your Checkup Groove On

Regular health checkups are like sunscreen for your well-being. Don’t be shy; visit your local clinic or doctor. They can catch any sugar issues early, so you don’t have to say goodbye to your beloved island treats.

Stress Less, Love More

Life in the BVI can be blissful, but it’s also busy. Find time to relax, meditate, or simply chill out with friends and family. High stress levels can mess with your blood sugar, so keep those good vibes going.

Sweet Support from the Community

Our BVI community is like a big, loving family. Join local health groups or start one of your own. Sharing experiences, recipes, and tips can be a fun way to support each other in this journey to a healthier, sugar-controlled life.

In a Nutshell

Did you know nuts provide benefits for people with diabetes? Studies suggest that nuts may even decrease the risk of type 2 diabetes. Obviously, avoid the nuts that are covered in salt and sugar. Preventing diabetes in the BVI isn’t about saying farewell to the good stuff; it’s about savoring it wisely. Keep the balance between sipping coconut water and jogging on the beach. Your health is like the crystal-clear waters around us, worth preserving.

Recent global breakthroughs in diabetes treatment

Several innovations in the management and treatment of diabetes were announced recently.  Among them was the approval of a new medication, tirzepatide, which improves control of the measure of blood sugar levels in adults with type 2 diabetes.  Health experts say the approval of the first immune therapy, which can delay the onset of type 1 diabetes, is also a major medical breakthrough.

BVI Diabetes Month Events 2023

The BVI Diabetes Association hosted events throughout the month of November. Kicking off on the first Sunday with a morning church service on November 5th at the Methodist Church in East End and followed with a delicious lunch at Loose Mongoose on Trellis Bay. Elton Georges annual Diabetes Run/Walk was held on November 11th honor of the Late Elton Georges. Diabetes Week qaa recognized November 13-17 and included ZBVI: The Almanac; Human Circle; Health and Wellness for Seniors and Sneaker Day Walk for a Cause. World’s Diabetes Day is November 14th and there was an Awareness Gathering at the Tortola Pier Park. Blue was worn on November 24th for Paint The Town Blue representing totality, wholeness, the eternity and timelessness alongside the circle which symbolizes the need to remain united to make a difference. Diabetes Month in the BVI tied up with Cocktail With A Twist on November 25th with His Excellency The Governor and at the Government House. Check the BVI Calendar Events Listings for all events and details.

Remember, we’re in this together, and our island spirit is the best remedy. So, keep rocking those flip-flops, savor the sunsets, and live the sweet life, minus the sugar blues. Cheers to a healthier, happier BVI!

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