What to do if I’m at Risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes?
There are several risk factors we can’t control such as, age, family history or being Latino, Hispanic or African-American.
Excess weight and obesity are factors that we can control and change, and these are also largely responsible for the high Diabetes incidence. Therefore, it’s also important, especially for Latinos, Hispanics or African Americans, to focus their efforts on achieving and maintaining a healthy body weight, by maintaining healthy eating habits and increasing their physical activity.
Excess fat cells (adipocytes) in the adipose tissue, especially around the waist, tends to lead to Insulin Resistance among other serious health problems. Insulin resistance is a condition that indicates a certain degree of cell sensitivity loss to insulin signals, preventing glucose from entering the cells to be used as fuel. This in turn makes blood sugar levels rise as cells become more insulin resistant or glucose intolerant. If we don’t take all necessary measures the situation will worsen and glucose levels will reach values considered to be Type 2 Diabetes.
Similarly, excess adipocytes (fat cells) can damage the endothelial tissue smooth functioning, which is the layer that lines the body’s arteries; This endothelial damage will begin to decrease the amount of nitric oxide secreted by the endothelium which makes arteries remain flexible, smooth and toned and they’ll become increasingly rigid, hard and sticky, which will facilitate the adherence of bad cholesterol (LDL) molecules and gradually cause the formation of atherosclerotic plaques, which is characteristic of a serious condition called atherosclerosis that will cause severe cardiovascular damage.
Reducing our intake of foods high in saturated or trans fats and rapidly absorbed carbohydrates, eating smaller portions several times a day and increasing the physical activity, will help us lose the excess fat we have stored in the adipose tissue, especially the waist. This will help us maintain a normal weight and stay in shape, so our cells will be less insulin resistant and less glucose intolerant, which will help us stay away from the possibility of developing Metabolic Syndrome, Pre-Diabetes and Type 2 Diabetes.
This in turn, will help us better control our blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels, reducing our risk of developing Atherosclerosis and avoid Hypertension problems.