Diabetes is known as a silent killer disease. The growing number of people falling prey to this metabolic disease has raised quite an alarm worldwide. Being overweight, leading a sedentary lifestyle, lack of exercise and consumption of high calorie, sugary and fatty foods are the reasons that give rise to this lifestyle ailment.
When the food we eat is digested, a sugar called glucose enters the blood stream. Glucose is a source of energy that fuels the body. However, for this energy to work as fuel, it has to move out of the blood stream into the muscle, fat and liver cells. It is a hormone called insulin that performs the job of moving the glucose from the bloodstream into the muscle, fat and liver cells. An organ, called Pancreas, produces the hormone insulin.
It is when the body fails to move glucose out of the bloodstream that a person suffers diabetes. This could be either because:
the pancreas fails to produce enough insulin or
the body cells do not respond to insulin normally
There are two types of diabetes:
Type 1 diabetes caused when the body fails to make enough insulin. This can occur at any age. The treatment involves injection of insulin daily.
Type 2 diabetes is the most common type. This is mostly suffered by adults. Most people would not be aware of the disease. That is the reason it is called a silent killer. Long term uncontrolled diabetes can cause irreversible damage to the kidney, heart, eyes and nerves.
Experts have long blamed the growing sedentary lifestyles for rising levels of obesity and a lack of fitness in today’s adults. This in turn is linked to heart problems, diabetes and many other critical diseases.
Foods that can prevent diabetes
Probiotic foods can keep diabetes at bay.
A greater number of friendly bacteria in our lower intestine not only ensures overall good health, but may also help ward off diabetes. The friendly bacteria in the intestines help us digest our food and supply the body with energy and vitamins. This in turn helps to ward off bad bacteria that cause various infections. Researchers have shown that the friendly intestinal bacteria play a positive role in reducing the likelihood of diabetes.
Some healthy bacterial foods:
Yoghurt – its the best known healthy bacteria food.
Apples – the friendly bacteria in them help produce short-chain fatty acids. Miso (made from fermented soy) used in Japanese cuisine.
sauerkraut (made from fermented cabbage) used in German cuisine and
Kefir, a fermented milk product that contains a mixture of beneficial yeasts and bacteria.
Vitamin D is crucial for the body. Vitamin D deficiency can affect many parts of the body. The main source of Vitamin D is sunlight. Current lifestyles prevent most of us from being exposed to sunlight and, hence the incidence of deficiencies is on the rise. It is proven that Vitamin D can prevent type 1 and type 2 diabetes.
A common spice found in Indian kitchens, is found to be able to manage high levels of blood sugar. Researchers from University of Sydney found that ginger has the power to control blood glucose by using muscle cells. “Ginger extracts obtained from Buderim Ginger were able to increase the uptake of glucose into muscle cells independently of insulin. This assists in the management of high levels of blood sugar that create complications for long term diabetic patients, and may allow cells to operate independently of insulin”.
Cheese can prevent diabetes
Two slices of cheese a day can keep diabetes at bay!. We are well aware of the current health guidelines which advise cutting back on diary products to reduces body weight. However, a new research has claimed that cheese can prevent diabetes. British and Dutch researchers found that eating just two slices of cheese a day cuts the risk of type 2 diabetes by 12%.
Studies have claimed that curcumin, a compound that is found in turmeric may help delay, if not prevent, diabetes.
LDL cholesterol and blood lipids play a role in the development of diabetes. It becomes absolutely essential to keep their levels under control to prevent diabetes. Scientists are of the opinion that consuming strawberries helps activate a protein in the body which reduces LDL cholesterol and blood lipids.
Reserveratrol is a compound found in red wine. By regulating insulin, Reserveratrol helps in improving the function of blood sugar. But this does mean we have a licence to drink unlimited quantities of red wine. Anything done in moderation is good for the health.
Cinnamon helps in lowering fasting blood glucose. It is known to lower triglyceride levels, LDL cholesterol and improve insulin sensitivity. Enjoy your coffee or toast with some cinnamon powder sprinkled on it.
Spinach is rich in many nutrients. A British study showed that consuming spinach daily cuts down the riskk of diabetes by 14%.
Walk 6000 steps daily
Walking 6000 or more steps a day can decrease the risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease for women. A British study reported that walking for 6000 or more steps daily decreases the risk of diabetes and metabolic syndrome, which is a diabetes precursor.
Coffee reduces diabetes risk
Caffeine was always advocated as bad for health. But research done during the last decade or so, has shown that coffee drinkers are less likely to have type 2 diabetes. A study of 190,000 people in 2005 showed people who drank six or seven cups of coffee a day were a third less likely to have diabetes. Coffee has a powerful antioxidant that helps prevent tissue damage. It helps the body use insulin efficiently and keep the blood sugar levels steady.
In conclusion, it may be said, that keeping an ideal body weight and living an active lifestyle may prevent type 2 diabetes. There is no proven method yet to prevent type 1 diabetes.