Research carried out by a group of French scientists has recently uncovered that eating to many fatty acids can increase the risk of type 2 diabetes by up to a quarter. Those who eat a portion a day have a 26% higher risk, according to a study on more than 70,000 women.
Oily fish, which is rich in omega-3 is known for its health benefits and is said to be good for heart health, the brain and cardiovascular system. Despite this experts recommend eating no more than 4 portions a week as it can greatly increases our risk of the disease.
But what is type 2 diabetes? And how can we reduce our risk? We called upon experts Pav Kalsi and Dr David Cavan to give us a rundown on the tried and tested methods to help kick the condition altogether.
What is type 2 diabetes?
It’s estimated that one in 16 people in the UK has diabetes (diagnosed or undiagnosed). Of the four million people currently living with the condition, 90% have Type 2 diabetes. With this type, the body either can’t produce enough of the hormone insulin, to keep blood glucose levels in check, or it can’t use insulin properly.
- Increased thirst
- Needing to pee more than usual (especially at night)
- Feeling tired all the time
Left untreated, diabetes can lead to vision loss or kidney failure, and people with diabetes are five times more likely to develop cardiovascular disease.
Type 2 diabetes is usually associated with obesity and diagnosed in people over 40 – although it’s increasing in the under 40s and even among adolescents and children. Slightly more men than women are affected (56%). Waist measurement is a good indicator of risk – women whose waist measures 80cm (31.5in) or more should take action.
You can also take a risk assessment test at riskscore.diabetes.org.uk
Reduce your risk of diabetes by:
- Eating a healthy, balanced diet
- Losing weight if you’re overweight – losing five per cent of your weight can cut diabetes risk by up to 50 per cent
- Taking regular exercise
- Stopping smoking
- Drinking alcohol only in moderation
The latest research…
A 2013 study from Newcastle University suggested that a 600-calories-a-day diet could put newly diagnosed people with Type 2 diabetes into remission.
Participants were given meal-replacement drinks, under strict medical supervision, for eight weeks. The study was designed to replicate the effects of bariatric surgery, which scientists had already observed put 80% of patients with Type 2 diabetes into remission.
“We’re funding further research into low-calorie eating in a larger cohort of patients and hope to know more by 2018,” says Pav Kalsi, clinical advisor at Diabetes UK. Until then, the charity’s advice for people with Type 2 diabetes is to follow a healthy, balanced diet. “Your GP should refer you to a dietician who can help you get to a healthy weight. This will enable your body to use insulin better and bring your blood glucose levels down,” says Pav.
But Dr David Cavan, Director of Policy and Programmes at the International Diabetes Federation and author of Reverse You Diabetes Diet (Vermillion), believes it’s possible to replicate the results of the Newcastle study with a low-carb, no-sugar diet, although he advocates doing so slowly, over time, and with more calories.
New research has also shown that if you nap for more than one or two hours during the day it could be a sign of type-2 diabetes. UK experts have said that people with type-2 diabetes often nap for long period of time during the day and new Japan research has confirmed this. The research found a link between long daytime naps of more than 60 minutes and an increased risk of type-2 diabetes.
Diabetes Week takes place form 12-18 June, and this year, the focus is on “Setting The Record Straight” – busting the myths and misconceptions around diabetes. Visit diabetes.org.uk