What you can do now to limit prevelance Diabetes
Disclaimer: What is listed below is for information only and does not or need not be seen as a direct medical advice.
What was the "old" thinking
In the not so distant past, Type 2 (sugar diabetes) was considered a chronic progressive disease that was not reversible. In the last decade or so it has emerged using a combination of eating well i.e. a low processed food diet along with regular exerice, the metabolic markers that track type 2 diabetes can be reversed. In short Diabetes is not the chronic disease it was once thought.
what's even better news, by reducing your risk to Type 2 diabetes , you reduce the risk of dying from a host of other diseases like Heart Disease. Recent research highlights that lowering in sugar levels and replacing with non processed natural souerces of fats and carbohydrates will nturally promote weight loss and reduce the progression of type 2 Diabetes.
Diabetes Risk Assessment: use this to assess your risk >60% of people over 50 at risk.
If you score a medium risk or higher on the Diabetes risk assessment your body may be undergoing the effects of Insulin resistance at the cellular level. The condition is known as metabolic syndrome and it is a gateway condition to Diabetes, Heart Disease and Dementia. Although this sounds alarming it is very common, with an estimated 80% of Adults having metabolic syndrome condition over the age of 60.
The quickest cure for this is a change in eating habits to a real food eating plan with no processed or sugary foods along with getting daily moderate exercise working up to at least 45 minutes in duration a day . Exercise like walking and cycling are ideal in helping your muscles become senitive to insulin again and reduce progression of metabolic syndrome. It must be noted you need to tackle reversing diabetes with diet and exercise at the same time, it sounds like a lot , but if you eat meals low in processed foods
Here is a great video to help understand Diabetes and show that it is possible to be reverse.
Be aware that the journey to Diabetes can take 20 years and the condition before it is know as Prediabetes
Use online resources to help lower your exposure to sugar and refined carbohydrates by understanding that the body does not need a lot of free sugar as a source of fuel.
If you are diabetic or prediabetic, Diabetes Ireland has a type 2 online education programme, you can register for it here.
Be aware that excess Fructose like that present in Soft Drinks can increase the meatbolic burden on the Liver and promote Inslin resistance.
Some people can really benefit from Intermittent fasting; eating in a short 4-8 hour window in a 24 hour day. This can help reduce excess Insulin levels in the blood. Once the insulin levels are reduced, the body can then burn celular fat and also go some way to normalise blood pressure. Naturally, we would expect you to consult your health care practitioner before embarking on such a program especially if you are already taking diabetic medication.
Coping with Food cravings: avoiding Diabetes
Carbs and processed carbs especially are addicting and reducing your likelihood of subcumbing to Diabetes means controlling these urges to over indulge. Easier said than done, we all know that. Some strategies are discussed in this video some overall tips would be removing unwated tempting foods from thehouse, meal planning and prep and not going shopping when you are hungry. Some apps like Noom can also be helpful.
Processed foods, what to avoid: the easiest way to reduce your risk, but the hardest to keep on track.
The majority of processed foods do not resemble the foods we have evolved with as a species and therefore our bodys' metabolic system copes with it as best it can which can inadvertanly cause it to release too much insulin
Low Fat foods especially yoghurts should be avoided as they contain excess sugar
Recent evidence shows that certain vegetable oils in processed foods can affect the body's ability to burn fat and have the knock on affect of increasing the want for sugary foods in the diet.
Sugary Drinks including fruit juices, excess fructose intake from these sources can be harmful to the liver over the long term and promote fatty liver which can inturn accelerate the onset of type 2 diabetes.
Type 2 Diabetes: Main features
- Gradual onset can take 20 + years.
- Tend to be large: BMI > 30.
- Lifestyle/ junk diet causes it.
- Can be reversed.
- Highly dependant on diet.
- Insulin is made but the signal is not “listened” to.
Type 1 Diabetes features
- Sudden onset
- Tend to be thin
- Autoimmune disease
- Hard to reverse
- Very little insulin made, if it all