Diabetes: one of the key drivers of cardio-vascular disease.

As we approach World Diabetes day (WDD) on 14th November 2020, we would like to emphasize how the Heart and Stroke Foundation South Africa plugs in and mobilizes our core mission and vision, which is to halt the rise of premature deaths through Cardiovascular Disease (CVD) and cerebrovascular disease in South Africa and to promote the adoption of healthy lifestyles, through advocacy, influencing policy, providing information, tools, and support. It is well established that diabetes is one of the main risk factors for heart disease and strokes.

Following the success of the Heart Mark endorsement program, Diabetes South Africa (DSA) has awarded the Heart and Stroke Foundation South Africa as the official licensing agent. Our in-house nutrition team analyses only SANSA accredited lab results ensuring that the product meets the rigorous Diabetic standard. Only then is a product authorized to be endorsed with the prestigious DSA logo. As health savvy consumers, the onus is on you to shop out DSA endorsed products instore as these items are perfectly suited for the prevention and control of a healthier life.

We at the Heart and Stroke Foundation South Africa would like to raise awareness around the 2020 theme for World Diabetes Day i.e. to promote the role of nurses and healthcare practitioners in the prevention and management of diabetes and also contribute to the awareness of the symptoms and overall knowledge about diabetes. 

In South Africa it is estimated that 1.8 million individuals are living with diabetes and an estimated undiagnosed population equates to 69%.  The African continent is expected to see the highest increase in diabetes globally by 2045. Type 2 Diabetes (T2D) is a major source of morbidity and mortality in South Africa, spurred by increased urbanization and unhealthy lifestyle behaviours.

There is a strong correlation between CVD and diabetes.  At least 68% of people over the age of 65 or older with diabetes die from some form of heart disease and 16% of strokes.

On a less sweeter but positive note, Diabetes is one of the major controllable risk factors for CVD.  Diabetes is treatable, but even when glucose levels are under control it greatly increases the risk of heart disease and strokes.

There are 3 types of Diabetes i.e.

Type 1 Diabetes – This is caused by genetic pre-disposition and usually found in younger children.

Type 2 Diabetes – Is usually found in overweight adults, in particular abdominally obese adults. Type 2 diabetes happens when your body becomes resistant to the hormone called insulin. Insulin hormone is responsible for taking up sugar in your blood cells. When your blood cells are no longer able to intake sugar hence one experiences elevated blood sugar levels. Also referred to as metabolic syndrome i.e. a condition where the insulin in one’s body is no longer functional. 

Type 3 Diabetes – is gestational, the onset occurs during pregnancy and subsides post pregnancy.

For More information on Diabetes one can visit Diabetessa.org.za

Dietary choices are of paramount importance as your next bite can either be detrimental or medicinal to one’s health. We urge you to buy right and eat right, take control and manage your intake. Although WDD is celebrated once a year, the implementation needs to be practiced in our daily lives.

DSA endorsed items are safe for pregnant women, to combat gestational diabetes, Therefore, for nutritious needs, pregnant women can use food less in salt, sugar, fats, that can be found in DSA endorsed products. These foods are good for the heart, brain, body and are safe to be consumed during pregnancy as well. 

WDD is the ultimate diabetes awareness campaign reaching an international audience surpassing 1 billion individuals in more than 160 countries. The campaign attracts attention to issues of supreme importance to the diabetes world and keeps diabetes firmly in the public and political spotlight.

The campaign is represented by a blue circle logo, this is the global symbol for diabetes awareness. It signifies the unity of the global diabetes community in response to the diabetes epidemic.

Further, manufactures of edibles need to heed the explosion of diabetes in South Africa and the harmful catastrophic nature of this disease on our population at large. There is growing demand for diabetic friendly food for the prevention and control. Reach out to us and let us together catalyze change by accrediting your products and assisting consumers in their purchasing decision.

Shaylin Nundlal


021 422 1586



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