Worldwide, an estimated 415 million individuals are living with diabetes, with 85-90 per cent of cases attributed to type 2 diabetes. By 2045, about 600 million of us maybe be living with type 2 diabetes.
In Australia, an estimated 1.7 million people have diabetes - with an estimated 500,000 said to be undiagnosed type 2 diabetics.
The lifetime risk of developing type 2 diabetes is at least one in three; this means that every third person is likely to develop type 2 diabetes during their life.
This risk is not something that starts in older age - many people mistakenly believe type 2 diabetes only affects older people. In fact, it can start affecting people in their 20s and 30s.
In 2014-15, approximately 10 per cent of all hospital admissions and one in 10 deaths in Australia were associated with diabetes.
The disease is estimated to cost the Australian healthcare system $14.6 billion per year.
"Diabetes is the fastest growing health condition in Australia," says Professor Grant Brinkworth, co-author of the latest lifestyle solution from the CSIRO, The CSIRO Low Carb Diabetes Diet and Lifestyle Solution.
"It's seen as more of a hidden disease because it might not impact you today, it's down the track when all the severe health issues will appear if you don't control it.
"The solution is about helping people get on top of their diabetes today so they don't experience all those many complications that go with it down the track."
Professor Brinkworth says while many factors contribute to the development of type 2 diabetes - such as age, gender and family history - lifestyle factors are fundamental drivers.
What we eat and drink, whether we smoke, whether we exercise and how much sedentary time we spend in our daily lives - these all play a major part in determining our vulnerability to the disease.
"The premise of all good healthy eating is eating whole, nutrient-dense, low-energy foods and that's what the book is based on, the premise of principles of good nutrition," he says.
It's about eating from all the major food groups, portion control and reducing the amount of discretionary foods in our diets.
"We should be aiming for about 50-70 grams of high-quality carbohydrates a day, with proportionally balanced amounts of protein and healthy fats to meet our individual needs," he says.
Exercise is also vital.
"The book also includes a home-based, resistance-training exercise plan, because the two go hand in hand.
"The evidence is really showing that we really should focus more on strength training or resistance training because that in itself can markedly improve your blood glucose control."
The CSIRO have been publishing its lifestyle range of cookbooks and diet plans since 2005's There are now six books in this series as well as books focussing on high protein diets, low-carb diets and diets for a healthy gut.
Professor Brinkworth is a senior principal research scientist at CSIRO, in health and biosecurity.
He has a PhD in nutrition science and exercise physiology and more than 20 years experience leading large scale clinical studies evaluating the effects of diets, foods, exercise and lifestyle interventions on human health, performance and functionality in healthy and clinical populations.
At the end of the day, there's nothing more he enjoys than translating the science for the every day person.
"We'd like to think that people have more confidence following these sorts of scientific approaches, knowing that they're going to get the benefits that the science is suggesting, rather than following a quick fast fad, that may not, one get them the success they're looking for, but two, may expose them to other health risks while they're doing that."
What is type 2 diabetes?
Type 2 diabetes affects the body's ability to metabolise or use glucose (a sugar that is an important metabolic fuel for the body) in cells, resulting in impaired glucose metabolism. With type 2 diabetes, your body does not either does not produce enough insulin, or it resists the efforts of insulin to properly control blood glucose levels.
After eating a meal, blood glucose levels will rise, particularly if that meal is rich in sugars or carbohydrate-rich foods that digest down into glucose. In response insulin is released from the pancreas which causes glucose to move from our bloodstream to our muscles and liver, where it is stored. When glucose metabolism is disrupted and our insulin isn't able to move the glucose from our blood, the glucose level is our blood increases and remains elevated.
This can lead to a state of "pre-diabetes", a condition that can be present for years before full-blown type 2 diabetes occurs, which is why it is best to start a lifestyle change now.
- The CSIRO low-carb diabetes diet and lifestyle solution, by Professor Grant Brinkworth and Pennie Taylor. Macmillan Australia, $36.99.
Chargrilled chicken pasta with nutty sauce
120g dried wholemeal spaghetti, broken into smaller pieces
500 fresh zucchini noodles (see note)
4 large tomatoes, each sliced into 3 rounds
1 small red onion, sliced into thin rounds
400g lean chicken breast stir-fry strips
80g parmesan, finely grated
160 g toasted mixed unsalted nuts (such as pine nuts, almonds, pecans), chopped
1/4 cup finely chopped mint
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
2 tbsp fresh Italian herb paste
1. To make the nutty sauce, combine all the ingredients in a large bowl.
2. Cook the pasta in a saucepan of boiling water over high heat for 5 minutes or until al dente. Drain well, then immediately transfer to the bowl with the nutty sauce. Add the zucchini noodles and toss to combine well. Season with freshly ground black pepper.
3. Meanwhile, heat a large chargrill pan over high heat. Add the tomato and onion and cook, turning occasionally, for 5 minutes or until just tender and golden. Add to the pasta mixture.
4. Chargrill the chicken for 6-8 minutes or until cooked and golden. Add to the pasta mixture and toss everything together.
5. Divide the pasta mixture among plates, sprinkle with the parmesan and serve warm.
Spinach and cheddar bakes
150g baby spinach leaves
boiling water, for blanching
4 x 55 g eggs, whisked
1 tbsp basil pesto
2 tomatoes, finely chopped
60g wholemeal self-raising flour
80g mild cheddar, grated
40g pumpkin seeds
1. Preheat the oven to 200C. Line eight holes of a 12-hole, 1/3 cup muffin tin with paper cases.
2. Place the spinach in a colander in the sink and pour over boiling water until it has wilted. Cool and refresh under cold running water. Squeeze out the excess water and pat dry with paper towel, then finely chop.
3. Place the spinach, egg, pesto, tomato, flour and half the cheddar in a bowl and stir until just combined. Season with freshly ground black pepper. Divide the mixture evenly among the prepared muffin holes and sprinkle the pumpkin seeds and remaining cheddar over the top.
4. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until cooked, puffed and golden. Rest in the tin for 10 minutes, then carefully remove. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Serves 4 (makes 8).
Quinoa breakfast bowls
80g quinoa, rinsed well and drained
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 long green chilli, seeded and thinly sliced
1 bunch kale, white stalks removed, leaves thickly sliced
80g haloumi, sliced
4 x 55 g eggs
80g avocado, sliced
micro herbs and lemon wedges, to serve (optional)
1 tbsp hulled tahini
finely grated zest and juice of 1 large lemon
2 tsp warm water
1 tsp sweet paprika
1. To make the tahini drizzle, whisk together all the ingredients in a small bowl. Season with freshly ground black pepper. Set aside at room temperature until you are ready to serve. (This will thicken on standing so you may need to add a little more warm water just before serving.)
2. Cook the quinoa in a saucepan of boiling water for 12-15 minutes or until tender. Drain and refresh under cold running water, then transfer to a large bowl and set aside.
3. Heat the oil in a large deep non-stick frying pan over high heat. Add the chilli and kale and cook, tossing, for 4-5 minutes or until wilted and starting to crisp. Tip into the bowl with the quinoa, then reheat the pan over high heat.
4. Add the haloumi and cook, turning occasionally for 1-2 minutes or until golden. Transfer to the bowl with the quinoa. Season with freshly ground black pepper, then cover loosely to keep warm.
5. Meanwhile, poach the eggs (in two batches) in a large saucepan of gently simmering water for 1-2 minutes or until the egg whites are just set but the yolks are still runny. Carefully remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towel.
6. Divide the quinoa, kale and haloumi mixture among serving bowls. Place a poached egg on top, then spoon over the tahini drizzle. Finish with the avocado and micro herbs (if using) and serve with the lemon wedges.
Barbecued marinara with fresh salsa dressing
600g fresh seafood marinara mix
2 tsp smoked paprika
1 small iceberg lettuce, cut into wedges
flat-leaf parsley leaves, to serve
Fresh salsa dressing:
1/3 cup oil-free Italian dressing
4 Lebanese cucumbers, finely chopped
2 spring onions, thinly sliced into rounds
4 tomatoes, finely chopped
1 green capsicum, seeded and finely chopped
160g avocado, finely chopped
1. To make the fresh salsa dressing, combine all the ingredients in a bowl and season with freshly ground black pepper. Stand at room temperature until serving.
2. Preheat a barbecue flat plate to high.
3. Combine the seafood with the paprika. Add to the barbecue plate and cook, tossing constantly, for three to five minutes or until just cooked and golden.
4. Divide the seafood and iceberg wedges among plates, drizzle over the fresh salsa dressing and serve with the parsley leaves.