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In today’s world where a pizza reaches us faster than an ambulance, one can certainly not stay too far from delicacies and junk foods. High intake of carbohydrates, fat, and sugar in our diet can degenerate our healthy working system and in turn, lead to life-threatening diseases. No wonder then that the prevalence of lifestyle diseases is on the rise. Diabetes mellitus is one such condition where our diet plays a key role in its onset as well as control.
In diabetes, diet plays a significant role in maintaining a healthy body. However, everyone around you has something to say, and surely, you are at a loss as to what is right for you, and what is not. If so, then read on to know more.
What is the connection between weight gain and diabetes?
Insulin is a hormone which is produced by an organ called the pancreas. Insulin regulates the glucose metabolism by helping our cells use the glucose in the blood. Diabetes is a disease in which the cells of the body stop being responsive to insulin. This leads to persistently high levels of glucose in the blood.
Diabetes can be of two types- Type I and Type II. Type I is more common in children or adolescents and is a chronic condition in which the body produces little or no insulin. Type II diabetes is commonly seen in adults and is a chronic condition that affects the way your body regulates blood sugar.
As the metabolism slows down, the body is unable to burn the excess calories circulating in our body in the form of blood glucose. Hence, a person with diabetes starts gaining excessive weight. Persons with Type II diabetes tend to put on weight easier than others for this very reason. This excess fat is difficult to get rid of and settles down as belly fat.
How can breakfast aid weight loss?
New research from Israel has shown thata high-energy breakfast consumed by people with Type II diabetes who are also overweight, can effectively promote weight loss and reduce the need for insulin.A high-energy breakfast is one that comprises of more protein than carbohydrates or fats, such as egg whites, nuts (almonds, walnuts), avocado, and quinoa.
Jakubowicz and her colleagues had conducted an experiment on 11 women and 15 men who were suffering from Type II diabetes and were obese. The study participants were divided into two groups. One group was given three meals per day, and the other group was given six meals per day, for a period of three months. At the end of three months, reports showed that the three-meal group had lost 5 kilograms of weight. In comparison, the six-meal group had gained 1.4 kilograms of weight! The glucose levels had also dropped in the first group, and they had to take lesser insulin than the second group. Interestingly, carbohydrate craving and hunger too decreased in the people of the first group whereas, in the second group, it had substantially increased.
Daniela Jakubowicz, MD, and professor of medicine at Tel Aviv University and the lead author of the abovementionedstudyremarked that if diabetes patients who are obese are given a heavy breakfast, a mediocre lunch, and a low-calorie dinner, it can make for an extremely healthy dietary pattern.
The finding of the study was however, contrary to the traditional belief of consuming 6 small meals per day. Prof. Daniela also mentioned that one must be more careful about when he or she is consuming food rather than keeping a count on the portions of food or the calories consumed. For instance, a piece of bread taken in the morning will have a lower absorption of glucose in the blood. But if the same piece of bread is consumed in the evening there will be a greater absorption of glucose in the blood.
Jakubowicz rightfully concluded that a diet with proper meal timings is more likely to yieldpositive results for weight loss than a diet which is more complex.Thus, having a heavy and protein rich breakfast can help lose weight faster than high calorie lunches and dinners.
Regular exercise and a proper diet early in life can not only prevent the complications of diabetes, but also prevent development of diabetes in unaffected individuals. So, eat healthy and stay happy!
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