Find out what is diabetes and its types. Here are 9 absolute must-know facts about diabetes.
There is just so much information on Diabetes everywhere-the internet, your relatives, friends or even the neighbours. Are you beginning to believe you will never know enough?
Keep calm. It's simpler than you think.
Here are 9 absolute must-know facts about Diabetes.
Must read about -All you need to know about Diabetes: Types, Symptoms & Tests
1. There are actually three kinds of Diabetes.
This lifestyle disease occurs when the body doesnt make enough insulin or doesnt use it the way it should. Diabetes is primarily of three kinds.
Mostly dominant in children and adolescents, Type 1 Diabetes is a case of absence of insulin secretion. It can develop suddenly but can be controlled with insulin injections, healthy eating and regular exercise.
The type 2 Diabetes is a case of the body not being able to use insulin efficiently. While the exact cause is unknown, key factors are genetics, lack of exercise, and being overweight. Healthy eating, exercises, tablets or insulin injections help keep it in control.
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The third type is the gestational Diabetes caused by insulin-blocking hormones that are produced during pregnancy.
2. Dont just count the carbs. Check their glycemic index.
Yes, controlling your carbohydrate intake by keeping a check, finding alternatives or estimating based on experience are key. But thats not all.
It is important to check the glycemic index and glycemic load of the food. Whats that? The glycemic index ranks the foods based on how the carbohydrate affects the blood sugar level.
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This consideration is more beneficial than just blindly cutting out carbs.
3. Befriend the proteins.
While the recommendation may vary from 10-20% of total calories, protein intake of 0.6 to 0.8 gm /kg body weight/day is a good habit. And since diabetic patients are on a low-carbohydrate diet, it is a must to monitor lipid profiles, renal function, and protein intake.
4. Spirts and all things sweet dont need to be completely cut out. Just keep a check.
Sugar alcohols and non-nutritive sweeteners are actually safe when taken in moderation and within the limit established by the FDA.
For those who indulge in alcohol daily, the limit is one drink per day or less for an adult woman and two drinks per day or less for an adult man.
But remember, the key is CONTROL.
5. Routine supplements are not all that advisable.
Many times, diabetic care comes with the option to take additional antioxidant supplements like C, E and carotene. But, long-term side effects and insufficient proof of efficacy are some of the reasons why they are not advisable.
6. Your meals are the answer.
One of the most important measures in Diabetes management is what you eat. Individually plan and monitor your meals to meet all recommended dietary allowances(RDA) and dietary reference intakes for micronutrients.
7. Say goodbye to trans fats.
Lets start with getting to know cholesterol better. It is of two kinds: The good and bad.
The good kind is HDL cholesterol that removes bad cholesterol from the bloodstream and lowers heart risk. The bad kind is LDL cholesterol that collects on the walls of blood vessels and causes blockages.
Reducing the intake of trans fats increases the good HDL cholesterol and lowers LDL cholesterol.
Must read about - High Cholesterol Diagnosis, prevention and treatment
8. The most effective prevention: Your Lifestyle
If you are at a high risk for Type 2 Diabetes - lifestyle changes are your best bet at prevention.
Three key steps to start with: Moderate weight loss (7% body weight), regular physical activity (150 min/week) and moderated diets with reduced calories and fats.
9. Work towards weight loss
Weight loss has shown to reduce the insulin resistance in those who are overweight! And so, behavioural and lifestyle changes that help keep you active and lose weight are a sure win against Diabetes.
Save yourselves the panic. Prioritize your health and lifestyle first and win over Diabetes!
Article by Ms. Chandana Kakamanu, (M.Sc. - Dietetics / Nutrition)
Consultant Dietitian, CallHealth
Have a Question? Consult Ms Chandana Kakamanu online.