Saturday, 13 November 2010

Know Your Diabetes Numbers

Know Your Diabetes Numbers

November 14 is celebrated as World Diabetes Day. Diabetes affects more than 220 million people worldwide, according to the World Health Organisation, and this figure is likely to double by 2030 without intervention. We need to know our numbers to prevent type-2 diabetes:

35 and being a woman

The evidence shows that abdominal fat increases our risk for type-2 diabetes and a simple marker for women a waist size of 35 inches or more. Belly fat goes deep into organs and around organs. These fat cells are dangerous, as they produce hormones and other substances that affect our health.

Fat around the middle can make us insulin-resistant, leading to type-2 diabetes. Insulin is important in the utilisation of blood glucose. In insulin resistance, the cells of the muscles, liver and fats are not as responsive as they should be to insulin. More insulin is produced, as the pancreas tries to keep up, but without the desired effect. Type-2 diabetes is the end result of insulin resistance.

40 and being a man

Men also have a number to monitor. If their waist is 40 inches or more they are at increased risk for type-2 diabetes.

The Diabetes Prevention Program, a major multicentre clinical research published in 2002, shows that people at risk for type-2 diabetes can reduce their risk by increasing physical activity and consuming a healthy, low-calorie diet to reduce body fat. In the study, risk was reduced between 58 and 71 per cent in participants older than 60 years old. Though reducing one's weight is challenging, a consistent effort can yield results. Make manageable changes and stick with them.

Increase whole foods and reduce highly processed foods which are often high in fats, sugars or sodium and low in fibre. Have smaller portions, especially of high-calorie foods. Have set meal times and avoid hunger which leads to bingeing. Drink water most times instead of juices and drinks, and have a glass or two of water before meals; this can reduce your food intake. Having a large fresh salad before your meals can also reduce the space for large portions of high-calorie foods.

Take 5,000 steps

Consistency and adequacy are important in helping you burn calories as you increase physical activity. Many people are sedentary because of our modern lifestyle. Activities should be structured. One useful tool when starting to increase activity is a pedometer that counts your steps. The number of 5,000 steps is the one to beat; fewer steps per day are considered sedentary.

No comments:

Post a Comment