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Diabetes is far too common in the modern world. A staggering number of Indians suffer from the disease and that’s just the ones we’ve accounted for. If you’re not already aware of what the disease can do to your body, then pay attention: it can render you blind, lead to possible amputations, cause a fatal collapse of the kidney function and leave you vulnerable to a whole host of other illnesses.
Prediabetes, a state in which the individual is more likely to develop type 2 diabetes, is a condition marked by a resistance to insulin. This resistance also leaves them vulnerable to many other illnesses such as hypertension and strokes.
What is Insulin Resistance?
Our body produces the hormone insulin to keep our blood sugar levels in check. The more food - and especially the kind of food we eat - results in more sugar being broken down into the bloodstream as the food is processed. Junk food, processed food and highly refined food release sugar very quickly into the bloodstream and the body has to keep up by producing more insulin. As time goes by, the body becomes resistant to all the insulin that is produced. This is in turn leads to high blood sugar levels, which is essentially what diabetes is. It is not a condition that must be treated lightly.
The symptoms of insulin resistance are sneaky. Many people tend to write them off as isolated instances and not as a part of an underlying illness with far more sinister implications. Increased hunger, increased nighttime bathroom visits, a lack of focus, drowsiness are only some of the symptoms this condition induces. As you can see, they are easy to overlook and dismiss as part of a ‘bad day’.
The only way to truly confirm if your body is resistant to insulin is to have a blood test performed. The results will tell you exactly how much sugar you’ve got in your blood.
Ask any doctor and they’ll tell you that one of the biggest factors in determining the chances of developing diabetes, and consequently reining the illness back if it has already developed, is the diet. While other factors do come into the equation, factors such as a sedentary lifestyle and genetics, the food you eat has the biggest influence on your pancreas.
Here’s a list of foods you want to avoid if you are resistant to insulin or suspect you may be:
High fiber and complex carbohydrate foods are the ideal solution to blood sugar level problems. Foods like oatmeal and brown rice keep the blood sugar levels in check because unlike processed foods, they release sugar slowly over a period of time. It also gives you the feeling of satiety, meaning that you tend to feel full and as a result are less likely to go for a snack.
There’s a lot of discussion concerning the effect of turmeric on blood sugar levels. A growing number of people are championing the yellow spice because it has a uniquely powerful effect on blood sugar levels. A study in 2009 corroborated this belief by showing that turmeric was successful in staving off diabetes.
Ginger has seen a few studies performed on its effect on blood sugar. One such study proved that those who took ginger capsules saw a drop of 10.5% in their blood sugar levels.
Cinnamon has long been to have positive effects on blood sugar levels. It can also increase the sensitivity to insulin. For a double whammy, we suggest sprinkling some cinnamon powder over your bowl of oatmeal.
There’s not a lot you can do once you do have diabetes. You’re stuck with it for the rest of your life, and the best you can do is halt its progress. This means more than just changing the occupants of your plate. Exercise is vital for a healthy body and should be the first partner to the diet.
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