Did you guys notice? I just rhymed! (I play way too much). Okay, let’s get serious! The focus of today’s post is Type 2 diabetes mellitus which is the most common form of diabetes mellitus. Most people believe “if you have diabetes, you definitely must have been eating too much sugar”. Hmm, ‘kinda yeah’ but not directly. Various classes of foods (carbohydrates, fats, etc) can predispose you to diabetes as far as they load your body with calories and lead to excessive weight gain. Before you start pelting me with tomatoes and eggs (please no eggs or I’ll just puke), let me explain *in Kevin Hart’s voice*.
Diabetes is a group of metabolic disorders in which the subject (patient) has high blood sugar levels over a prolonged period. There are three main types;
- Type 1 diabetes a.k.a insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus
- Type 2 diabetes mellitus
- Gestational diabetes mellitus.
Type 1 DM results from the pancreas’ failure to produce insulin. Type 2 DM is the most common type of diabetes. It occurs as a result of lack of insulin in the progressive stage but begins with insulin resistance where the cells fail to properly respond to insulin. It occurs mostly in adults and is usually primarily caused by excessive body weight and lack of exercise. Gestational DM as the term implies occurs in pregnant women without a previous history of high blood sugar levels. It is a rare type of DM and usually, improves or completely disappears after delivery. The very common symptoms of diabetes are fatigue, dizziness, increased urination, increased thirst, increased hunger, slow healing of cuts, poor vision, among others. Contrary to the belief that sugars cause diabetes, what really predisposes people to diabetes is excessive weight gain. The easiest way to gain weight is through the consumption of simple sugars which are metabolised and absorbed so fast, you gain weight even before you say “Jack Robinson”. Another thing of concern is that so many foods contain a truckload of these simple sugars no matter how the small quantity you consume. So, since weight gain equals increased risk of diabetes mellitus and excessive weight gain is MOSTLY as a result of consumption of high amounts of simple carbohydrates, it is understandable to assume that diabetes is caused by excessive sugar consumption. It is, however, important to note that simple carbohydrates are not the only culprits but also unhealthy fats and basically anything unhealthy that makes you gain unhealthy weight. In the spirit of the season , I have good news . Type 2 diabetes can be prevented! To prevent the occurrence of Type 2 DM, you should most importantly maintain a normal healthy weight. Make lifestyle changes such as consuming healthy diets and engaging in physical activities (Physical activities with a duration of about 90 minutes per day, reduce chances of diabetes by 28%). Dietary modifications which are necessary for the prevention of type 2 DM are, replacing;
- Simple carbohydrates with whole grains and fibres
- Fizzy drinks with healthier versions of it or just water
- Unhealthy fats in your diets with good fats such as polyunsaturated fats found in nuts, fish and vegetable oils.
Also, eat less red meat that contains saturated fats and eat more lean meat can also reduce predisposition to type 2 DM. In a nutshell, reduce the consumption of foods that increase your waistline and consume much healthier foods which increase your lifeline (OMG! I rhymed again! 🏽).
In a generation where unhealthy diets, excessive weight gain and very little physical activity are predominant, the monster, Diabetes mellitus might just be closer around the corner than we think. It is, however, our duty as health-conscious citizens to chase it very far away.