Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 Diabetes

| |  Diabetes, Metabolism & Endocrinology

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Research consistently shows diet during pregnancy is important for prevention of obesity, Type 2 diabetes, and the metabolic syndrome. Investigators at the Statens Serum Institut in Copenhagen, Denmark, looked at the glycemic index or GI of food eaten by pregnant women and their children's chance of developing the metabolic syndrome 20 years later.

Their study, reported on in May 2014 in PLOS ONE, included 428 mothers and their children. It was found mothers who ate food with the highest glycemic indexes had children with the...

  • highest level of insulin resistance;
  • highest blood insulin levels;
  • highest blood leptin levels at 20 years of age.

From the above results it was concluded the characteristics associated with the metabolic syndrome were highest in adult children of women whose diets had the highest glycemic indexes during pregnancy.

The Mayo Clinic in the United States defines metabolic syndrome as a group of conditions that make Type 2 diabetes and heart and blood vessel disease more likely. The conditions include:

  • too much fat around the waistline,
  • high cholesterol,
  • high blood pressure, and
  • high blood sugar levels.

The National Institute of Health in the USA adds high HDL and triglycerides to the picture.

Leptin is a molecule associated with fat and body weight regulation. Leptin resistance is associated with weight gain and obesity.

Glycemic index (GI) is a number assigned to each food and expresses how much the food can increase blood sugar levels. It is determined by the amount of sugar and fiber a given food contains:

  • pure refined sugar has a GI of 100.
  • 70 or over is considered high, and includes foods such as potatoes, baked goods, corn flakes, and many other breakfast cereals.
  • 56 to 69 is considered medium, and includes foods such as raisins, pita breads, basmati rice, ice cream, and bananas.

A low GI is defined as 55 or lower. Some foods with a low GI include lettuce, beans, most fruits and vegetables, and whole grains.

A diet high in fruits, vegetables, legumes, and whole grains has long been recommended for preventing Type 2 diabetes and heart disease... and generally staying healthy. Now it appears to be doubly important for pregnant women...

  • during prenatal visits diet is an important subject of conversation.
  • follow your doctor's recommendations on weight gain and fill up on the healthful foods, or those with a low GI.

All those healthful foods could start a family tradition of good health and longevity.

Although managing your disease can be very challenging, Type 2 diabetes is not a condition you must just live with. You can make simple changes to your daily routine and lower both your weight and your blood sugar levels. Hang in there, the longer you do it, the easier it gets.

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