People with Type 2 diabetics, and non-diabetics alike, constantly hear how much they can improve their blood sugar and lose weight, simply by eating right or healthily, and exercising. But even knowing this, many Type 2 diabetics are hesitant to adopt such a healthy lifestyle because they don’t understand how important these two steps are.
Insulin is secreted by the pancreas of an average person at a rate of roughly 20 to 30 units each day in rhythmic pulses perfectly timed with the absorption of food. Insulin ushers sugar into the cells of your body, where the sugar combines with oxygen to produce energy. It then breaks down into carbon dioxide and water. Insulin also helps convert sugar into another form of sugar, glycogen, which is stored in your body for emergency use.
The more sugar, carbs or starches you consume, the more insulin has to be produced to keep up with the over-abundance of sugar that has now made its way into your bloodstream.
When insulin production can’t keep up with the presence of sugar, the sugar begins to stockpile so the body has to find somewhere to store it. Instead of insulin transporting sugar into your cells, it now switches gears and begins to produce triglycerides to convert the sugar to stored fat.
When you exercise your body uses up more fuel, so excess sugar and even food that is broken down into sugar for fuel, is needed to fuel the energy your body is burning. This is why a top athlete can consume so many more calories or kilojoules, without putting on weight when compared to an individual who sits behind a desk all day and barely moves.
But exercise is only part of the equation. Many people who are not top athletes or who don’t routinely exercise, are still trim, lean and healthy. Why? Because they are not putting an excessive amount of calories into their body that will need to be burned off.
A person can become full from eating a large pizza and drinking a can of soft drink. But their body will have a massive over-abundance of calories needing to be dealt with since only so many calories can be used by the body. The same person can eat a large plate full of vegetables, a small piece of lean meat and some fruit and also be full.
The difference is the second meal produces a substantially lower number of calories. This means the person is still full, but the food does not produce a massive quantity of sugar that has to find a home.
Type 2 diabetics who routinely exercise and eat “healthy” food, will not only see their condition virtually disappear, but they can also occasionally splurge on a treat without seriously impacting their health.