Friday, August 26, 2011

The Trilogy of Diabetes (5)

The participation of Zinc
in insulin secretion by Beta-cell
in the pancreas
At this juncture,
one may find that diabetes is actually
a little more complicated as it sounds from the surface.

Sugar/glucose metabolism in our body is
very sophisticated and tightly controlled.

Under normal circumstances,
the balance/homeostasis of glucose metabolism
isn't easily disrupted,
unless we ourselves constantly bombard our body with
excessive fats, proteins and carbohydrates.
over a prolonged period of time.

According to the Health Promotion Board a few years ago,
the average consumption level of protein in Singapore
is around 78g/day per person,
which is way excessive compared to the recommended level of

Now, it's not difficult to make sense why
the diabetic trend is constantly climbing.

Addendum 1: The magic bullets for diabetes

Diabetes can also be perceived as a disease of malnutrition
-- meaning,
we have been overfeeding on macronutrients (fats, proteins, carbo)
constantly have been lacking of minerals and fibre
due to the prevailing trend of meat based diet and non-organic farming nowadays.

The prolonged lacking of minerals in our diet
contributes just as much in causing diabetes,
as excess fats and proteins do.

Studies shown that diet low in minerals
e.g. magnesium, zinc, chromium, vanadium
poses higher risk of diabetes.

The reason is simple, these minerals
are the key co-factors in different stages of glucose metabolism
from insulin secretion, to insulin activity to glucose uptake and conversion.

Hence, minerals can be seen as one magic bullet
in preventing or stabilising diabetes (during milder stages).

Another magic bullet for preventing or improving diabetic health
is the very humble fibre.

Because fibre slows down the absorption
of glucose from the gut into the bloodstream,
it helps reduce the blood sugar shock and
in turn reduce the chance of obesity
and over-exhaustion of the pancreas.

Addendum 2: The (preventive) cure is in the daily diet

Summing up all of the points above
it's implied that,
in order to prevent or mitigate diabetes,
a wise person would prefer a diet:
- low in fat
- moderate in proteins
- fibre to go with carbohydrates (tehcnically known as low glycemic index food)
- high in minerals

While there many options to fulfill the above criteria,
certainly, a whole grain based vegan diet
would be one good example =)

Even better, if one can go organic,
for the higher content of minerals in organic produce.

Lastly, as a gentle reminder --
Diabetes is a disease not to be taken lightly of.

Many people has the misconception that there are
very effective drugs and recombinant insulin to help curb the condition.
However, without targeting the root of the problem
ie a balanced diet,
the medication will finally lose its efficacy
and diabetes is bound to worsen over time.

The worrying part of diabetes,
is when a diabetic comes to a stage where the kidney is impaired.
At this stage, one may perceive it as a tip-over point
beyond which the degenerative condition
will only spiral down hill (until death, sorry to be honest),
even then, a healthy diet cannot reverse the situation.

Hope this series of diabetes blog have been of some benefit to LHW readers.
To learn how to eat your way to health and balanced nutrition,
try get some scientific based veg education at The Veg School  :)

Best regards,
Kee Yew

{Learning Holistic Wellness for Wisdom and Compassion}

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