July 6, 2022

Want to reverse diabetes? Here are some tips from fitness experts | Health

People with diabetes paid a high price during Covid-19 pandemic since the coronavirus has not…

People with diabetes paid a high price during Covid-19 pandemic since the coronavirus has not only resulted in a high proportion of people with diabetes among hospitalized patients with severe manifestations of Covid-19 and among those who have succumbed to the virus but has also led to severe disruption of diabetes services. Though diabetes is a major cause of blindness, kidney failure, heart attacks, stroke and lower limb amputation according to the World Health Organization, the WHO states that “Diabetes can be treated and its consequences avoided or delayed with diet, physical activity, medication and regular screening and treatment for complications.”

What is diabetes?

Vijay Thakkar, Fitness Entrepreneur and Functional Medicine Coach, explains, “Cells in our body use blood glucose for energy and insulin is the compound that enables them to do so. Type 2 diabetes is where the body either cannot produce enough insulin or use it to effectively turn the blood glucose into energy. This condition results in high blood glucose (also. cholesterol) levels. Sustained long-term high blood glucose levels produce or amplify other health complications. The latest research indicates that you can reverse Type 2 diabetes with simple lifestyle changes and weight management.”

He pointed out that approximately 7% of the world population lived with diabetes in 2021. Out of the total diabetic population, WHO puts the number of people affected by Type 2 diabetes at 95%.

Dr Asma Alam, Nutritionist/Dietitian at Gandharva Wellness Studio in New Delhi’s Preet Vihar adds, “Type 2 diabetes is a lifestyle disease and the principal cause of this disease lies in the diet we consume along with the physical activity we do everyday. If you’re serious about overturning diabetes, try the tips that have been proved time and again that will help you achieve the goal.”

Tips to reverse diabetes:

Asserting that the cause of this diabetic condition is less genetic or organic than man made, Vijay Thakkar shared, “Type 2 diabetes is mostly a product of lifestyle which induces insulin resistance in the body. Although genetics can also be a cause, relevant lifestyle changes can keep the diabetes in check and postpone it’s resurgence.”

He added, “A sedentary lifestyle is a major cause of developing Type 2 diabetes in adulthood as muscles are the largest storage of blood sugar. Alcohol and tobacco usage only helps the condition to spiral out faster. Simply including regular exercise and giving up on tobacco usage will help your body fight this problem naturally.”

He also advised a low-calorie diet, like fresh fibre rich and green vegetables, fruits, lean meat, nuts, whole-grain foods, pulses and legumes to form one’s primary diet and suggested to avoid foods with processed white flour and sugar as these tend to induce fat build-up and obesity. Highlighting that weight management is another huge factor that can put diabetes into reverse gear, Vijay Thakkar siad, “You can reduce your weight with lifestyle changes and regular exercise. Consult a physician for remedial measures like bariatric surgery.”

Echoing the same, Dr Asma Alam revealed, “Small changes like managing a healthy body weight as high levels of insulin resistance is directly linked to obesity. Also, maintain the health of organs that help in regulating glucose levels in the blood by limiting your alcohol consumption and smoking. Besides, it is important to have a balance between the amount of calories consumed and the amount of calories burned.”

She elaborated, “Lack of physical activity can develop the extra layer of fat starting around the belly which leads to higher insulin resistance. Thus, burn those additional calories for a better lifestyle. Lastly, most importantly, stay hydrated and follow the right diet! A diet low in carbohydrates, moderate in proteins and healthy fats is an ideal diet which will help in maintaining blood glucose levels in the long run.”

Dr Asma Alam recommended some of the best foods for diabetics that patients should include in their diet, like leafy greens, flax seeds, eggs, beans and extra virgin olive oil.