Diabetes is one of the most serious health problems of today. It is estimated that almost 3 million Poles suffer from it, while about 750 thousand. he does not realize it. This is due to the rare and unwilling performance of control tests and the absence of visible symptoms of the disease at its initial stage. The cause of diabetes is a lack or deficiency in the body of insulin – a hormone that regulates the level of glucose in the blood. In the presence of insulin, glucose, whose concentration in the blood increases after a meal, is treated as a nutrient and energy. However, in the absence of insulin, the excessive amount of glucose in the human body causes numerous damages, which are manifested by a notorious feeling of tiredness, increased thirst and polyuria.
Diabetes = obesity?
There is a significant relationship between obesity and type 2 diabetes, which is caused by impaired secretion and reduced sensitivity of our body to insulin. This so-called „insulin resistance” is caused by obesity. Increased production of fatty acids, and thus accumulation of fat in the abdominal area, leads to the oxidation of fat in the muscles and liver, which in turn inhibits the secretion of glucose. This condition leads to a greater release of insulin by the pancreatic cells and exhaustion of its reserves. Obesity also leads to an increase in the volume of fat cells, which in combination with low physical activity prevent the proper functioning of glucose.
Type 2 diabetes
It was diagnosed in 90-95% of all patients suffering from diabetes and affects especially adults (in contrast to type 1 diabetes). Although genetics may be involved in the development of the disease, environmental factors determine its development to a greater extent.
According to the World Health Organization, obesity increases the risk of type 2 diabetes three times, and over 90% of patients are obese. It is also worth noting that the probability of the disease growing increases not only as the overall body weight increases. The distribution of fat is also important. The greatest risk is burdened with people with abdominal obesity.
Control the waist circumference!
Values over 88 cm in women and 102 cm in men indicate abdominal obesity. Easy and quick determination of the type of obesity is the ratio of the circumference of the waist and hips, i.e. WHR indicator. If this ratio is greater than or equal to 0.85 for women and 1.0 for men, it will mean abdominal type obesity (the so-called apple). If, on the other hand, the values are less than 0.85 in a woman and 1.0 in a man, the index will show the femoral-femoral obesity (the so-called pear).
The role of carbohydrates in a diabetic diet
After each meal (also in a healthy person), the level of glucose in the blood increases. This is especially important in the case of people suffering from diabetes, because the wrong selection of nutrients (the choice of simple carbohydrates, such as sweets) can cause a very rapid increase in blood glucose, which triggers the need for insulin. As the carbohydrate content in the food is very diverse, a carbohydrate exchanger (WW) system has been developed that facilitates their control. The number of exchangers is determined taking into account the level of glucose in the blood, the dose of insulin and physical activity.
It is a portion of a food product, given in grams, which corresponds to 10 g easily digestible carbohydrates (starch, sucrose, lactose) and 12 g of sugar.
Carbohydrate exchangers in practice
When using carbohydrate exchangers, remember that meals should contain the same amounts of exchangers every day, and also that in order to change products, choose products from the same group, eg noodles for groats, milk for yogurt.
When planning your diet, make sure that the fruits are complemented by a set of diets to a fixed number of exchangers. Due to the higher calorific value and faster absorption of carbohydrates in comparison with vegetables, they should be determined last.
The diet is the basis for the therapy of a person suffering from diabetes. It requires a lot of control and self-discipline from the patient. Lack of proper nutrition can result, among others, in diseases of the cardiovascular system, changes in the retina, kidney failure, impotence or so-called diabetic foot. Consider whether it is worth a bad diet to lead to overweight or obesity, and thus increase the risk of diabetes.