This article is part of the Type 2 Diabetes Diet & Health Series I’m running here right now. We’re just getting started but if you want to stay informed of future articles in this series, click here to subscribe.
I don’t like to get all doom and gloom but I think when it comes to diseases like type 2 diabetes we don’t think that we might be at risk. But the truth is that in our modern world we are ALL at risk!
If you didn’t know already, we have an epidemic of type 2 diabetes worldwide. In fact many researchers call it a pandemic, because of the impact it is having on so many people with around 3% of the population having the disease. It used to be a disease of adults but more children and teenagers are getting it. And it is also happening in third world countries. So you have starvation and poverty up aganst obesity and type 2 diabetes in places like India. So why is this occuring?
There are 5 important things you need to know.
- You can have prediabetes 5-10 years before a diagnosis
- Excess sugar and carbohydrate consumption leads to type to diabetes
- Overweight and obesity increases your risk exponentially
- You don’t want to get type 2 diabetes because there and MANY health complications that are not pleasant
- 58%+ of type 2 diabetes can be prevented
1. You can have prediabetes 5-10 years before a diagnosis
Many changes occur in the body as a result of type 2 diabetes but these changes are beginning to occur long before a diagnosis. Insulin resistance can be present well before diabetes but there are no symptoms so many people just keep on going, not knowing there is something wrong. Insulin resistance is where the cells become unable to deal with insulin and glucose in the bloodstream, which pushes your blood sugars higher. Insulin resistance also usually comes accompanied by impaired fasting glucose, and impaired glucose tolerance. You can get tests for these to find out if you are prediabetic, and since type 2 diabetes is preventable it’s well worth the effort, don’t you think?
2. Excess sugar and carbohydrate consumption leads to type 2 diabetes
Sugar and carbohydrates are not the only thing that leads to type 2 diabetes BUT it is one of the major contributors. Our bodies were not designed to eat too much sugar and carbohydrates, particularly added sugars and refined carbohydrates. But in our modern world, our entire food supply is laced with sugar! This is one of the major factors that is contributing to type 2 diabetes in developing countries like India. Soda happens to be cheaper than water and what is soda full of? SUGAR!
Cutting back on sugar consumption and refined carbohydrates like white flours and pastas is really a great idea.
3. Overweight and obesity increases your risk exponentially
As weight increases, so does your risk of type 2 diabetes. Fat tissue is not dormant tissue that just sits there, it is actually very metabolically active and releases many proinflammatory proteins. These proteins affect the way the body functions. Overweight and obesity also affects the way your body manages it’s fuel sources such as carbohydrates, fats, and proteins. Essentially type 2 diabetes is a disease of excess and malfunctioning fuel metabolism and overweight and obesity are major contributors to it’s development. The moral of the story is that weight loss is not just about vanity, it is about having improved health and feeling great!
Even if you are obese, losing just 5-7% of your weight can significantly improve yoru condition and prevent type 2 diabetes if you don’t have it already!
4. You don’t want to get type 2 diabetes because there and MANY health complications that are not pleasant
Diabetes has many health implications including problems with the cardiovascular system, eyes, kidneys, and feet. 13% of people with diabetes suffer nerve damage in the lower limbs, 15% have diabetes retinopathy – that’s eye problems. There is a 4 fold risk of heart attack and stroke, a 3 fold risk of kidney failure, a 15 fold risk of amputations, and type 2 diabetes is the leading cause of preventable blindness. Doesn’t sound fun right?
The important thing to realise is that some of the damage is already being done when you have prediabetes. Remember prediabetes can occur 5-10 years before diagnosis, that means you can prevent it and prevent all of these horrible health conditions from occuring.
5. 58%+ of type 2 diabetes can be prevented
Which brings us to the last and most important point. Loads of different research studies have shown that 58% or more cases of type 2 diabetes can be delayed or prevented through lifestyle intervention. What does lifestyle intervention mean? It means changing to a healthy diet and doing exercise. It really is that simple. 58% is A LOT!!
None of us wants to have type 2 diabetes and since it is a disease that is caused by unhealthy diet and being sedentary and inactive, the solution is we have to get more active and eat well.
With all of those health complications, it really is worth looking after yourself better. The good news is that if you already have type 2 diabetes, you can virtually reverse it, and we’ll be talking about that more in future articles.
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Nutrition & Health Coach
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