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Type 2 Diabetes: Know it, to beat it!

Diabetes postal stamp was issued to help people become knowledgeable of diabetes.

Diabetes is the most challenging health problem of the 21st century with India being the diabetic capital of the world. More than 65 million Indians are affected from type 2 diabetes and the number is expected to double in next 20 years. The most shocking news is that 270 million Indians are below the poverty line and yet there is an increase in the diabetic peak. Unlike other health conditions, diabetes does not seem to be inherited in a simple pattern, it is twisted and complicated with a combination of genetic make-up and environmental factors. Yet, most people are born with higher susceptibility to develop type 2 diabetes. According to ADA, the risk of developing type 2 diabetes is:

  • 1 in 7 if one of the parent was diagnosed with T2D within the age of 50
  • 1 in 13 if one of the parent was diagnosed with T2D after the age of 50
  • 1 in 2 if both the parent are diabetic
  • Whereas in India when both the parents are diagnosed with type 2 diabetes then there is 100% chance that the child will be diabetic

Type 2 diabetes is mainly caused by an interaction between our genetic makeup and our unhealthy lifestyle choices. Type 2 diabetes is a polygenic disorder where numerous genes have been identified as risk factors. The variation in genes confers some impairment in insulin secretion, utilization and glucose & lipid homeostasis. If you have type 2 diabetes your body does not use insulin properly. This is called insulin resistance. At first, your pancreas will produce extra insulin to make up for it but, over a period of time, it cannot make enough insulin to keep the blood glucose at normal levels.

The root cause of type 2 diabetes is obesity. It runs down the family as they tend to have similar life-style and eating pattern. Obesity is 80% correlated with diabetes. If you have a family history of obesity it becomes difficult to figure out if your diabetes is mainly caused due to life-style factors or genetic variations. It is natural that sedentary parents tend to have sedentary children and their unhealthy eating habits are passed on to the next generation. However studies have shown that in obese individuals, by losing even 4 kg of the body weight, can reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

Here are 5 alternative healthy foods to knock out type 2 diabetes:

  1. Take control over your calories: Instead of sweet, cookies and candies opt for fruits such as berries, apples, oranges and papaya. Fruits such as mangoes and grapes contain more sugar and it should be consumed in lesser quantity. This way it will satisfy your craving for sweets.
  2. Choose carbohydrates wisely: You need to consume half of your daily calories from healthy carbohydrates. Instead of consuming pasta, noodles and white rice opt for legumes, beans, millets, whole grains, brown rice, low fat dairy products, fruits and vegetables.
  3. Say NO to starchy vegetables: To satisfy the craving to potato chips and mashed potato opt for yams, mashed cauliflower, winter squash, baked chips or baked tortilla chips.
  4. Start your day healthy: Instead of cornflakes, instant oats or white bread for breakfast opt for low-sugar bran flakes, rolled oats or whole wheat bread.
  5. Fast food to healthy food: Alternate hamburgers, pasta and noodles to boiled chicken sandwich, whole wheat pasta and brown rice.

It’s never too late to start caring for yourself and Xcode provides products and services based on metabolic and fitness genotyping. Even if you carry a genetic risk variant, you can still minimize your risk by understanding your genetics and choosing the right food and lifestyle options that are compatible with your genetic makeup. So take action today to prevent and knock out diabetes.

 

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James Watson
Xcode is a pioneer in personal genomics, focussed on enabling personalized preventive healthcare. We are dedicated to empowering physicians, wellness professionals and customers with the most validated, accurate and actionable genomic information to positively impact and improve their client's health and quality of life.