Trying to stay slim by restricting calories alone ? This may keep you from packing on the pounds in the short-term but new research shows that what you eat and how much you exercise and the main factors in type 2 diabetes prevention. In a recent study type 2 diabetes, a disease previously associated with the overweight or obese, can creep up even when the scale doesn’t. Although it tends to be more prevalent in the overweight population, about 15 percent of people with type 2 diabetes fall into the healthy weight category. With 65 million people age 20 and older developing pre-diabetes age is no longer a deciding factor either. Young adults at a healthy weight can still be at risk. This phenomenon known as TOFI (thin outside, fat inside) occurs when fat that would normally appear under your skin builds up around abdominal organs instead. This fat causes inflammatory substances to affect your organs, namely the liver and pancreas. Insulin sensitivity decreases and risk for type 2 increases.
Because exercise causes muscles to use glucose at 20 times the normal rate it makes sense that most of those at risk have tried to maintain their weight through diet alone. For people with an “all calories are created equal” mentality, it may seem acceptable to eliminate exercise as part of the equation and concentrate mainly on calorie restriction. While this might work to keep weight stable, it may lead to other problems later on. Since exercise is the only way to shed visceral fat (the kind that builds up around the organs) it remains essential for diabetes prevention. A well-balanced diet low in sugar is also key to preventing type 2 from occurring.
So if you thought last years twinkie diet was too good to be true you are now vindicated. In the case of preventing type 2 diabetes it’s truly what’s inside that counts.