Type 2 diabetes is increasingly being seen as an aspect of what is called the metabolic syndrome which is a fairly common condition characterized by insulin resistance and many related effects, including:
- high blood sugar,
- high blood pressure,
- high levels of various fats in the blood, and
Obesity, particularly the style characterized by abdominal fat, is one of the criteria for the metabolic syndrome, and most people diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes are overweight in this way.
Poor physical fitness, and poor conditioning are also associated with Type 2 diabetes, especially in individuals with a family history of this type of diabetes. Anyone whose close relatives have Type 2 diabetes have a two to four times higher risk of developing the condition than people without such a family history.
Investigators in the Department of Physiology at S. Nijalingappa Medical College in India looked at fitness in healthy individuals with a family history of Type 2 diabetes and compared them with volunteers with a healthy family history.
The study, published in the Indian Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism in November 2011, included 64 individuals, 32 with a positive family history of Type 2…
- the body mass index, and waist measurement were higher in the participants with a family history of diabetes than in those without a family history of diabetes, and
- those with a positive family history of diabetes were slower to recover from exercise than those with a negative family history.
The causes of Type 2 diabetes are complex, and consist of interactions of:
- diet and
Although specific genes have been associated with Type 2 diabetes, perhaps at least part of the risk associated with family history could be due to eating patterns and a sedentary lifestyle taught to children from their parents and significant others. If that is the case, then changing patterns… diet and activity, within a family could lower the risk of diabetes associated with family history. If not, healthy eating habits and exercise are still known to help prevent the development of Type 2 diabetes, so developing good eating and lifestyle habits in a family are bound to be beneficial.
Thanksgiving is just a couple of weeks away. After the feast has been consumed, instead of sitting around consider…
- having a family nature hike and see how many colors of leaves and fall-flowering plants you can find. See if you can discover birds’ nests that were hidden by foliage during the summer. (Don’t take any of them; some birds return to the same nest each season).
- a hayride is a good way to get out of the house and away from food.
For Christmas and Hanukkah in the northern hemisphere, think of toys that encourage activity, such as:
- skis, or
- ice skates.
In warmer climates and in the southern hemisphere, surfboards and swimsuits will encourage physical activity. Try having a beach party for a different and healthy way of celebrating the holidays.
Three ounces of turkey breast have 88 calories (368 kJ), while 3 ounces of firm tofu have only 60 calories (251 kJ), so consider tofu turkey for Thanksgiving and Christmas. The tofu variety is easier to cook and has the same flavor, so why not?