Most 30-somethings sleepwalk into diabetes diagnosis because they eat 3 TIMES more potatoes and bread than they need, expert says
- Professor Joan Taylor, of De Montfort University, blamed current NHS guidelines
- It states that carbohydrates should make up just over a third of what we eat
- Speaking at the British Science Festival, she called for it to be reduced to just 10%
Most people in their 30s could unknowingly be on the verge of developing diabetes due to society’s high carbohydrate diets, a leading expert has warned today.
Professor Joan Taylor, a diabetes expert at De Montfort University in Leicester, blamed the current NHS nutrition guidelines.
It says carbs – like potatoes, bread and rice – should make up just over a third of what we eat.
But speaking at the British Science Festival, Professor Taylor called for that percentage to be reduced to just 10%.
Professor Joan Taylor, a diabetes expert based at De Montfort University in Leicester, blamed current NHS nutrition guidelines. It says carbs – like potatoes, bread and rice – should make up just over a third of what we eat. But speaking at the British Science Festival, Professor Taylor called for this to be reduced to just 10%
What is type 2 diabetes?
Type 2 diabetes is a disease that causes a person’s blood sugar to become too high.
It is believed that over 4 million people in the UK and 30 million in the US have some form of diabetes.
Type 2 diabetes is usually caused by obesity – and the condition is reversible.
The condition means that the body does not respond properly to insulin – the hormone that controls blood sugar absorption – and cannot properly regulate blood glucose levels.
Excess fat in the liver increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes because the buildup makes it harder to control glucose levels and also makes the body more resistant to insulin.
Weight loss is the key to reducing liver fat and controlling symptoms.
Symptoms include fatigue, feeling thirsty and frequent urination.
This can lead to more serious problems with the nerves, vision, and heart.
Treatment usually involves changing your diet and lifestyle, but more severe cases may require medication.
Eating fewer starches could lead to weight loss, significantly reducing the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
It will also help blood sugar levels “return to normal”.
Starchy carbs tend to be high in calories, which is why they’ve been reviled over the past few decades.
Professor Taylor said: “If you can reduce it to 10%, bearing in mind that the NHS recommendation is around 35%, not only will you lose weight, which is good for the syndrome metabolic and type 2, but your blood sugar levels return to normal.
Type 2 diabetes occurs when the body does not produce enough insulin or the insulin it produces does not work properly, leading to high blood sugar.
Uncontrolled diabetes can lead to blindness and leave patients with limb amputations or comas.
The condition affects around 4.5 million Britons and over 30 million Americans.
But it is feared that hundreds of thousands of people are unknowingly walking around with the disease.
Unlike type 1 diabetes, which is genetic, type 2 diabetes is primarily caused by obesity. It is also reversible with a healthy lifestyle.
Prof Taylor said: “If you talk to diabetologists they’ll tell you that most people from their thirties on… start putting on the kind of weight these days which then means going into metabolic syndrome, c is then a pathway to diabetes.
“Most people are at risk.
“It’s only the lean, athletic guys who stay that way in their 30s and 40s that aren’t.”
“It’s an amazing thing, really.”
Metabolic syndrome is the medical term for a combination of diabetes, high blood pressure (hypertension), and obesity.
Diabetes UK estimates that one in three adults in the UK have pre-diabetes, meaning their blood sugar levels are higher than normal but below the threshold for diagnosing diabetes.
About 90% of people with diabetes have type 2, about 8% have type 1 diabetes, and about 2% have rarer types of diabetes.
NHS England suggests the service spends around £10bn a year on diabetes, around 10% of its total budget.
Research has shown that, for some people, diet, physical activity and sustained weight loss can be effective in reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes by around 50%.
WHAT SHOULD A BALANCED DIET RESULT IN?
Meals should be potatoes, bread, rice, pasta or other starchy carbohydrates, ideally whole grains, according to the NHS
• Eat at least 5 servings of a variety of fruits and vegetables every day. All fresh, frozen, dried and canned fruits and vegetables count
• Meals based on potatoes, bread, rice, pasta or other starches, ideally whole grains
• 30 grams of fiber per day: This is equivalent to eating all of the following foods: 5 servings of fruits and vegetables, 2 whole-grain crackers, 2 thick slices of whole-grain bread, and a large baked potato with the skin on.
• Have dairy products or dairy alternatives (like soy beverages) choosing low fat and low sugar options
• Eat beans, legumes, fish, eggs, meat and other proteins (including 2 servings of fish per week, one of which should be fatty)
• Choose unsaturated oils and spreads and consume them in small amounts
• Drink 6 to 8 cups/glasses of water per day
• Adults should consume less than 6 g of salt and 20 g of saturated fat for women or 30 g for men per day
Source: NHS Eatwell Guide
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