Type 2 diabetes : Foods to adopt. Foods to avoid. Role of exercise. Necessity of overall Nutrition. Insulin resistance. Necessity of drugs and insulin. Role played by Obesity.
Diabetes is one of the most risky ailments that can affect a human being. Not only because it’s a metabolic disease often termed as a silent health degrader, but also because unless someone himself/herself or some loved one gets afflicted by it, no one gives any thinking to it. Which is kind of ironical as although genetic mutations are also linked to diabetes; the Diabetes mellitus Type 2 (or in which glucose levels in blood increase to abnormal levels due to insulin resistance) or Type 2 diabetes (commonly called Sugar) is predominantly a lifestyle disease. That’s consuming too many calories without adequate exercise or physical activity.
Recently, when my father got positively tested for Type 2 Diabetes, I started reading about Diabetes. The things I searched for included: the foods to adopt and foods to avoid in Type 2 diabetes, the amount of exercise the diabetic must do, the necessity of overall nutrition in diabetes, insulin resistance etc. Among other things I searched, included — the necessity of drugs and insulin in controlling diabetes, things non-doctors share in drawing room conversations etc.
What I learned from my search on Type 2 Diabetes
Over all I got to a conclusion that when it comes to diabetes, a qualified doctor knows the best. What we, as the family of diabetic can do is , keep equipping ourselves with the right information so that small things we do for the diabetic, don’t make us do things which are a complete No for any diabetic. After all we can’t consult a doctor every time we do something for a diabetic. The correct diabetes information is also important as only that can enable us to ask right questions to the doctor.
From my humble research I not only got to know about the fact that sugar and salt found naturally in foods we eat, is adequate for not only diabetics but also non-diabetics. In short, there’s actually no need to add sugar and salt in our foods. Remember, animals don’t add salt and sugar to the food they eat.
Cutting on sugar doesn’t mean replacing it with artificial sweetener. Artificial sweeteners are recommended for diabetics as they are not sugar. But they are chemicals, which the body excretes without any assimilation. It’s better to avoid real sugar, and avoid synthetic sweeteners. If the diabetic craves for something sweet, then rewarding oneself with some dessert or confectionary containing real sugar can be an option. But just a bite or a spoon or two. That too once in awhile.
Same applies for Salt intake. Cutting on Sodium salt doesn’t mean going for Low Sodium Salt.
I also found that too much salt (Sodium salt) is as bad for a diabetic, as is sugar. That apart, many concerned friends recommend fats , that too saturated fats, to diabetics; but fats must be minimised to bare minimum as well. As fats deteriorate the already high Insulin resistance in a diabetic.
That apart, fatless milk or fully toned dairy products are often advised for diabetics, but a research says that consuming zero fat dairy proteins is bad for diabetics, as when devoid of fat, the body can’t derive any benefit from the protein present in dairy products. Consuming zero fat dairy products , is simply a waste of money and energy.
One last thing,. Every processed food and packaged food is bad, as it often has additives such as extra sugar etc. Fresh fruit juice in low quantities can be good, but pure fruit juice with no sugar in tetrapacks is bad. Nuts such as walnuts, cashews etc. are often recommended, but since they have concentrated sugars in them. hence they must be taken in small quantity.
Lifestyle change is the best remedy for Type 2 diabetes. Regular exercise is Good. Eating fibre and every simple food nutrient (carbohydrate, protein, fats and vitamin & minerals) in low quantities, five times a day, is good.
Too much cutting on nutrition, will make a diabetic weak. Although reducing excess weight is important as well. Less than healthy or fast decreasing weight is equally bad.
Cutting on refined food, packaged food and processed food will help a diabetic. If doctor advises the diabetic drugs or insulin, follow his/her advice. High sugar levels in blood affects vital organs negatively, there’s nothing bad in taking diabetic drugs or insulin and keep the glucose levels at normal. Last but not the least, Alcohol is a big NO. You can consume small quantity of Wine though.
In proteins, lean meat (low fat) and simple protein such as Fish and Chicken is alright (they help the body recover from the usual wear and tear). But in less quantity.
Only yesterday, I read about a new Harvard research, where researchers have identified nine genetic variants that dramatically increase the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. The research adds to our knowledge of the diabetes underpinnings and provides a glimpse of its vast genetic diversity.
According to the Harvard Researchers, these nine genetic variants increase the risk of developing type 2 diabetes sevenfold or 7 times. But don’t worry, these mutations are very rare in the population, found in just one in 1,000 individuals. Although the researchers say that the nine mutations are found in a single gene, and the can of the genomes of 20,000 people from various international populations revealed 53 mutations, only four of which had been previously described. Further experimentation showed that nine of the 49 remaining mutations caused changes in key proteins that increased the risk of type 2 diabetes. That is a thing of concern.
Living a Healthy Life with Type 2 diabetes is Possible
Controlling diabetes is a prolonged disciplined effort. It’s about regular monitoring of blood glucose levels and taking action to keep blood glucose levels at normal. I learned that, Type 2 diabetes is not about feeling depressed or losing hope. It’s moving to a healthy lifestyle and Hope. It’s body’s way of telling the person, the need of a healthy lifestyle and mending ways for a healthy Life. This also means, exercising regularly. A diabetic can do light to intense workout (consult doctor before exercising).
Talking about monitoring, there are many digital glucometers (for testing glucose levels in blood) in the market; which are a necessity for diabetics with high average blood glucose levels; and who are on diabetes medication or insulin. But one question to ask oneself before buying a glucometer is : How often do I need to test my blood glucose levels? If you are testing your glucose levels once in 15 days. Then visiting a good pathology lab near your place is a better option. This because, when glucose levels are not alarming and if the person is working positively on the Lifestyle change, then having a glucometer at home has real potential of making the diabetic, a Hypochondriac (a medical condition, where a person thinks too much about diseases). This mental burden is least wanted.
Normally people with type 2 diabetes are obese or overweight. And being obese or overweight complicates the diabetes effects. Hence it’s necessary to reduce any excess weight. A new book, titled The Diabetes Break-through by Osama Hamdy PhD. and Sheri R. Colberg PhD. primarily addresses the obesity and weight among diabetics and shares scientifically proven plan to Lose Weight and Cut Medications (although cut on medications only after consulting your doctor).
Will keep sharing more information about diabetes…
[DISCLOSURE: The information shared in this article is for information purposes only. Please consult a qualified Doctor before acting on any information shared in the article.]