1 in 3 Adults Now At Risk of Diabetes

by on June 18, 2014

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You really don’t want to get diabetes – “Type 2” diabetes, that is – which is simply a disease of eating too much sugar.

Type 1 you are born with – there’s not much you can do about that. But Type 2 is completely self-inflicted.

Scientists were shocked when, in a new study, they found that one in three adults in England were at risk of developing diabetes.

How Do You Get Diabetes?

When sugar is absorbed into the bloodstream the pancreas pumps insulin into the blood too – which moves the sugar into your muscle cells. Otherwise, you’d simply die of having too much sugar in the blood.

The larger the amount of sugar hitting the bloodstream, and the faster it hits, the more insulin is required.

This is okay for a while. But after pumping out more, and more, and more insulin, the pancreas eventually gets tired – and just can’t do it so well.

Eventually, you are left always having a high sugar level – even a long time after a meal.

This is what scientists have been measuring – they are finding that one third of people have this high “resting” sugar level – which will eventually turn into diabetes for most people.

Why Is Diabetes a Problem?

Firstly, it’s a problem because it’s reaching epidemic proportions. In eight years the number of people with borderline diabetes has trebled.

Secondly, many people die of the side effects of having diabetes. It leads to much higher incidence of heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, blindness and amputation.

As I said: you do NOT want diabetes.

In fact, one in 10 of all people in hospitals are there because of problems caused by diabetes.

What Can You Do to Avoid Diabetes?

Happily, up to 80% of type 2 diabetes can be avoided or delayed by making lifestyle changes.

What you can do is:

  1. Get to a normal weight. Most diabetics are overweight. Reducing your weight to a normal range makes you much less likely to develop diabetes.
  2. Cut down on sugar in your diet. This includes added sugar in processed food, sugar in tea, soda and sugary drinks, cakes and biscuits, chocolate bars, honey, maple syrup, treacle, molasses, and fruit juice and excessive fruit.
  3. Get regular exercise, which helps to stave off diabetes.

It seems strange to cut down on fruit when, for years, authorities have been telling us how good fruit is for us.

The truth is that fruit does contain many good nutrients. But it is also relatively high in sugar content. Certainly, drinking fruit juice produces a real sugar hit and is little different from drinking Coke or Pepsi.

Try to cut right down on bananas which are very sugar rich.

The berries generally have the least sugar and are high in beneficial nutrients. Try and have your fruit with some fatty food – for example, yoghurt – which slows down the digestion of the fruit.

Finally, cooked, sweet vegetables are high in sugar – obvious if you think about it. So if you are eating carrots and peas, favour having them raw (which take longer to digest) or lessening the amount you eat.

Take Action Over Diabetes

For most people diabetes is an avoidable disease. When you consider the horrible side-effects of diabetes that is a great motivation to try to avoid it.

And the way to do that is by changing your lifestyle.

To get a benchmark visit your doctor to have your blood sugar measured. Then take action for 3 to 6 months and have a retest.

In the UK, diabetes is classified as a level of 6.5% blood sugar after a night of fasting. Pre-diabetes is said to be a level between 5.7% and 6.4%

Seeing your blood sugar level drop will be a huge reward from taking this important action. It’s really satisfying to see that blood sugar level fall, which means that you are helping your pancreas to do the job it was intended to do.

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