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Food, Health & Fitness

A SWEET HEALTH CRISIS CALLED DIABETES

In 2019, the Philippines had the distinction of having more diabetes cases than our more developed neighbouring countries. We ranked 5th behind China, Japan, Indonesia, and Thailand. The research also showed that nearly 4 million Filipinos have diabetes. Today, it remains to be one of the Top 10 leading causes of death in the country. Nonetheless, it is a disease that we can prevent if we pay attention to what we eat.

We may know at least one person who is suffering from this metabolic disease. Simply put, diabetes is a long-lasting health condition that affects how our body processes the food we eat. When the insulin in our body stops functioning the way it should, or when our body doesn’t make enough insulin, blood sugar stays in our bloodstreams. Since insulin serves as the key in turning our blood sugar into energy, it leads to more serious health problems, such as heart and kidney diseases, when it stops functioning the way it should.

If you can recall, there are two types of diabetes. The one described above is Type 1 diabetes. Your pancreas basically doesn’t make insulin, so the usual treatment is only insulin. But for Type 2 diabetes, you develop it when you get high blood sugar from eating poorly. Too many carbohydrates like pasta, rice, soda, and even Gatorade can cause your liver to overwork, leading to an insulin spike. Note, though, that not all carbohydrates are bad.

Bitter consequence of too many sweets

Photo by Andres Ayrton from Pexels

Despite medical advancements, there still isn’t any cure for diabetes. But it is a proven fact that changing our lifestyle could greatly help prevent the disease. Eating healthy food, exercising, and managing our weight are the usual recommendations. Changing our lifestyle works wonders, not just for diabetes but also for other life-threatening diseases.

Many of us were guilty of overindulging in unhealthy food when the lockdown was enforced. Whether due to stress or anxiety, we may have experienced instances when we miss watching what we eat.  To give you an idea, the sugar in a bag of chips, a simple carb process, gets extracted by the body really fast. In less than an hour, our body would have already taken out all sugar from it.

As mentioned above, when there are too many carbohydrates to digest, our liver over-produces insulin—eventually making our body insulin resistant. So, if a person has been resorting to an unhealthy diet for years, it could lead to type 2 diabetes and other major diseases.

Photo by Artem Podrez from Pexels

Changing our lifestyle by eating healthy food, exercising, and avoiding cigarette smoking can help reduce our chances of getting diabetes. While there are other frightening diseases that we can’t defeat yet, not to mention that COVID-19 is still causing global distress, diabetes is one disease that we can surely fight.

Awareness is key. Knowing what we can do and how to do it will greatly improve our chances of preventing diabetes and other diseases. Speak to your doctor to learn more about how to prevent those. Stay healthy, live healthy.

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