what you don t want to know but definitely should about diabetes | Melissa McAllister

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What You Don’t Want To Know (But Definitely Should) About Diabetes

What You Don’t Want To Know (But Definitely Should) About Diabetes

The science bit 

I feel it’s really important to understand what goes on in our own bodies, especially when it comes to what we eat and how that affects us. So here is a rundown of what diabetes is, so you don’t have any excuse now!

The cells in our bodies need fuel for energy. When we provide our body with fuel (food and drink), it is broken down into glucose, which is a simple sugar. The glucose is then transported around the body via our bloodstream and delivered to where the energy is needed – i.e. to breathe, move, walk etc.

A hormone called insulin regulates this fine balance of fuel processing and distribution that goes on in our bodies. The pancreas consistently releases small amounts of insulin; when more is needed the pancreas receives a signal so that the glucose can be delivered where it is needed. When this happens, your glucose levels drop (because it is being used by your cells).

When the body’s glucose level goes too low, the body can suffer from low blood sugar levels (you might have heard the medical term hypoglycemia). Signals are sent to the liver to release more glucose, which in turn means your brain receives a signal that it needs more fuel (i.e. food), and you start to feel hungry.

Diabetes occurs when the body is unable to manage this process effectively. Either the body cannot make (enough) insulin, or the body plays a cruel trick and is resistant to it (which means that it can’t control the glucose in your body and you end up with high blood sugar levels).

Type 1 diabetes is when the body destroys the insulin-producing cells – usually people have to inject themselves regularly with insulin to manage this.

Type 2 diabetes is when the body can produce insulin, but in insufficient amounts, or the body is resistant to what is produced. 

What you don’t want to know (but definitely should) about diabetes:

The bad news…

  • Diabetes is a lifelong disease – there is currently no complete cure
  • Diabetes is the 7th leading cause of death in the USA
  • There are currently about 30 million people in the USA who have type 2 diabetes (that’s approximately 9% of the total population)
  • Over 84 million American adults have pre-diabetes (where someone’s blood glucose levels are higher than normal, but not yet at a diabetes level – they are at an increased risk of later developing diabetes)
  • Diabetes sufferers are at an increased risk of other health issues, including premature death, vision loss, heart disease, stroke, kidney failure and the amputation of limbs.

The good news…

  • The right diet and exercise can play a big role in the management of diabetes*
  • Pre-diabetes can be reversed or slowed down with the right diet and exercise*
  • Weight loss can lead to significantly improved outcomes for many diabetes sufferers*
  • Type 2 diabetes can be prevented with steps you can take, including the right diet

 

What you can do

This doesn’t just apply to those who are at risk of diabetes, or who currently suffer from it. The eating and exercise suggestions in The M.A.D.E Diet are for everyone wanting to lead a healthier lifestyle – and for those who want the chance to live a longer life.

You can download my ebook for full information, but in a nutshell:

  • Stop drinking soda – completely and forever
  • Cut out packaged or processed foods (includes pastries, bakery goods, processed meats, ready meals, candy…..)
  • Stop choosing low fat margarine, vegetable spreads, milk and yogurt (read my post about why healthy fat is good)
  • Reduce / eliminate grains (yes I know this one is controversial for many so you’ll have to learn more in my ebook, or my blog post here)
  • Switch to a diet focussed on healthy meats, fish and veggies
  • Give your body a fasting break each day (Intermittent Fasting)
  • Combine with daily cardio and weight exercises

Sorry to be (almost) all doom and gloom but this is a serious issue… an epidemic even, for our public health, and we need to take action ourselves if we hope to stop this for future generations.

* I will never give you medical or dietary advice – these points are for generic information only and you must always consult your physician for professional medical advice.

Sources:

Harvard School of Public Health Study

Diabetes.org

Centers for Disease Control