George Lucas is a Hollywood titan, having created not one but two blockbuster franchises. His life before Star Wars and Indiana Jones is intriguing too. Just after he graduated from university, when he was 23, George was drafted for the Vietnam War.
During his physical, the doctors discovered that he had Type 2 diabetes and told him that he couldn’t go to Vietnam, according to Diabetes UK.
The Star Wars creator is said to have inherited the disease from his paternal grandfather.
“George Lucas set a great example for millions of diabetic patients around the world by keeping his blood sugars levels under control for about 50 long years,” adds Diabetes UK.
What is type 2 diabetes and why is it so important to keep blood sugar levels under control?
Type 2 diabetes is a chronic condition whereby a person’s pancreas does not produce enough insulin or the cells do not adequately absorb insulin to regulate blood sugar.
How to stabilise blood sugar levels
There are two key aspects to managing blood sugar levels – diet and exercise.
There’s technically nothing you cannot eat if you have type 2 diabetes, but you’ll have to limit certain foods, notes the NHS.
As a general rule, you want to avoid simple carbohydrates, commonly found in foods such as white bread.
As the American Heart Association explains, simple carbohydrates are digested quickly and send immediate bursts of blood sugar into the bloodstream.
This can send blood sugar levels soaring so where possible it is important to avoid these types of carb.
Complex carbohydrates, on the other hand, are digested more slowly and supply a lower more steady release of blood sugar into the bloodstream, says the AHA.
To help you distinguish between the two, you should refer to the glycemic index (GI).
The GI index is a rating system for foods containing carbohydrates. It shows how quickly each food affects your blood sugar (glucose) level when that food is eaten on its own.
In addition, you should also engage in regular exercise to stabilise blood sugar levels.
“You should aim for 2.5 hours of activity a week,” advises the NHS.
You can be active anywhere as long as what you’re doing gets you out of breath.
This could be:
- Fast walking
- Climbing stairs
- Doing more strenuous housework or gardening