Are you constantly craving sugar, having energy slumps and keep putting on weight? Does diabetes worry you?
Every day I speak to people who have sugar cravings, energy fluctuations, they keep putting on weight and many have a genuine fear of diabetes. So today I would like to talk to you about preventing diabetes and looking after yourself with diabetes so that you can feel at your best, to give you the best energy to spend time with your family without being constantly exhausted, to get moving as much as you can and maybe even to stop those niggling aches and pains that keep coming back.
I don’t know how many of you are diabetic or pre-diabetic. Even if you’re not it’s worth reading to find out how you can prevent yourself from becoming diabetic in the future.
How many times have you been told that if you take some exercise and watch what you eat you will lose weight?
If you are overweight or obese then most likely you’ve had a disappointing visit to the doctor recently. Have you been told to lose weight and that you have no willpower! That you just need to be motivated to change. This is not your fault, it is your hormones that are causing you to be overweight.
I want to talk to you about the hormones that led to you putting on weight and I promise I am not going to talk to you about dieting.
Obesity is a disease, a hormonal disease, the main hormone involved is insulin and most people who are obese or overweight are resistant to insulin,
What does that mean?
Insulin resistance is the very start of diabetes, before people are diagnosed, the stage even before pre-diabetes.
Insulin drives sugar from the blood into the cells so the body can use it for energy. When someone is insulin resistant their body is finding it hard to get the sugar where it needs to go, from the blood into the cells. If the sugar stays in the blood we begin to develop diabetes.
When there is sugar in the blood the body responds by making more insulin, the body can maintain this state for years and the blood sugar levels continue to be normal. Sadly there comes a time when it can no longer keep up and the blood sugar levels start to rise.
That’s the beginning of diabetes.
- About 7% of the UK population have diabetes.
- 1 in 3 have sugar levels above normal but under the level for a diabetes diagnosis.
- Another million have diabetes or pre-diabetes and have not yet been diagnosed!
In 2019 these groups made up nearly 5 million in the UK alone.
And – – – this does not include the people with higher insulin levels with no signs of diabetes.
The trouble with the rise in insulin and insulin resistance is that we are much more likely to develop diabetes. HOWEVER even more important, insulin makes us hungry and causes us to put on weight, particularly fat around our vital organs!
What if we look back at the beginning – and there was less sugar around for insulin to have to deal with?
Everything you eat is either a carbohydrate, a protein or fat and they all have a very different effect on glucose and therefore insulin levels. You’re going to overeat because the stop signal doesn’t happen until you are stuffed, that stop signal takes 20 minutes to kick in after you start eating!
In an hour or 2, you’re hungry again, WHY? because the glucose in that meal caused a massive production of insulin, which triggered HUNGER, FAT STORAGE and CRAVINGS! And if you’re insulin resistant already and your insulin levels are higher you’ll be hungrier all the time. So when you eat carbs like potatoes, rice, pasta, bread, cakes, biscuits etc., your blood sugar goes up, your insulin goes up and you get hungry and you store fat. So when we eat carbohydrates our glucose and insulin levels are going to go up fast. With proteins, it looks a lot better.
When we eat fat, nothing happens, no insulin is needed, NONE AT ALL.
In the UK the Eatwell Guide still recommends you eat carbs as at least 30% of each meal, thankfully sugary drinks have now been removed but you are still advised to eat low fat.
I hope you’re getting the idea.
Watch this space to find out more about why fat is important and what we can do to help ourselves. Feel free to get in touch if you have any diabetes and nutrition questions you need answering.