Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Time to break it down

Did you know that in India, one in seven individuals is a diabetic or a pre-diabetic?

90 to 95% of all diabetic patients suffer from Type II Diabetes. Once called the non-insulin-dependent diabetes, Type II Diabetes, today, is the most common form of diabetes. In this form of diabetes, the pancreas either produces less insulin or the body cannot use the insulin well enough.

Insulin is the body’s primary energy-generating hormone, and when there isn't enough insulin or it’s not used appropriately, sugar is not broken down into energy and does not reach the cells. As a result, sugar in the blood increases, leaving the body cells hungry for energy. Over time, high sugar levels in the blood can damage nerves and small blood vessels in the eyes, kidneys, and heart.

Who all have a higher risk of getting Type II Diabetes?
  • People over the age of 30-35 years 
  • People who suffer from obesity problems 
  • People who have an history of Gestational Diabetes 
  • People who have a strong family history of type 2 diabetes 
  • People who have been pre-diabetic for a long time 
  • People who lead a sedentary life style 
  • People who have erratic food patterns 
  • People who suffer from high blood pressure or high lipid profiling 

If not controlled, diabetes can become a silent killer. However, there are some simple tips to help keep your blood sugar levels in check. They are:
  • Avoid high GI foods like rice and substitute it with roti 
  • Avoid foods high on fat like red meat, cheese, cream, butter etc. 
  • Eat small portions of food frequently 
  • Eat insulin-sensitive fruits like apple, grape fruit or jamun fruit 
  • Reduce intake of salt and processed foods 
  • Keep your weight under check 
  • Exercise regularly 

Being diagnosed with diabetes is not the end of the world because with a few simple precautionary measures and much-needed lifestyle changes, you can continue to lead a normal life.

Monday, 10 February 2014

Who moved my BMR?

Losing weight is easy, balancing that weight loss and health – not so much!

In today’s sedentary lifestyle, people are easily piling on the pounds and as a result, need to consciously try to lose weight and become fit. The most obvious choices are either going to the gym or dieting. But guess what? You need both! Yes, unless you find the right balance between maintaining a regular workout routine and following a good diet, your success will be very limited.

A key step in losing those pounds and staying healthy is to understand your body. And one of the most important parameters to help you to understand your body is the Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR). Basal Metabolic Rate is the bare minimum amount of calories the body requires to perform vital functions while at rest.

A high metabolic rate means the ability to burn excess calories more efficiently, because muscles burn calories faster than fat. The more muscle you have in relation to your body fat, the higher your metabolism will be. In simple words, metabolic rate is the reason behind your friend’s ability to eat anything while remaining slim and trim.

There are many reasons behind the slowdown of your metabolic rate, the most important one being age. In women, the metabolic rate begins to slow down by the age of 30, while for men it’s 40. In addition, for women, certain medical conditions such as hypothyroidism and hormonal imbalance (PCOD/PCOS) can also slow down the metabolic rate. But there’s no need to start shaking your head in dismay yet, because, for every con, there’s a pro. High fibre foods like fresh fruits and vegetables, wheat, ragi, jowar, bajra, meat, milk, etc., help sustain your metabolism rate along with providing good nutrition. Most importantly, exercise will help you maintain your metabolism and aid in losing or maintaining weight.