If you are reading this then there's a high chance you've been told you have what's known as metabolic syndrome. This comprises a group of risk factors that raise your risk of developing chronic illnesses including Type 2 Diabetes, cardiovascular disease and stroke. There are five risk factors from which at least three should be present for you to be diagnosed with metabolic syndrome. The five risk factors are listed below:

  • You have a large waistline or obesity concentrated around your belly
  • Your blood triglyceride level is equal to or greater than 250 mg/dl
  • Your blood HDL cholesterol (good cholesterol) level is below 35 mg/dl
  • You have high blood pressure
  • You have a high fasting blood glucose level

 Obese individuals are prone to develop diabetes. This risk is increased if your obesity is concentrated around your belly. What size of your waistline puts you in the risk category? A waistline of 31.5 inches or more in females; a waistline of 35 inches or more in Asian males and of 37 inches or more in white and black males.

When it comes to preventing diabetes, food is the solution and not your enemy. 

According to new research, it has been found that four nutrients including fibre, omega-3 fatty acids, calcium and vitamin D help in fighting deposition of fat in the body and balancing blood sugar levels. Hence, to get out of the diabetes danger zone, make sure that you are getting enough amounts of these four nutrients in your diet.

Moreover, eat at least three to five servings of fresh fruits and vegetables per day and decrease your intake of sugar, especially refined sugar and saturated fats.

Please note, it’s only the refined sugars and added sugars I’m are taking about. Natural sugars (wrapped in fibre) such as fruit and vegetables are fine and are very healthy.  So, for example, no fruit juice, processed foods containing sugars - including "low fat" yoghurts which confuse many people. 

Understanding diabetes

Insulin deficiency, whether relative or absolute affect the utilization of glucose by the cells of the body. When the body is not able to produce any insulin then the diabetes is referred to as Type 1 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is characterized by either decreased production of insulin or decreased response of body’s cells to insulin, a condition also referred to as insulin resistance.

How can you get out of the diabetes danger zone?

Maintain an optimal body weight specific for your age and height as obesity, especially deposition of fat around the belly is a major risk factor for diabetes. Keep your waist size under 31.5 inches, if you are a female and under 37 inches, if you are a male.

It has been found in studies that getting involved in regular moderate-intensity physical activity of 30 minutes per day on at least five days in a week can get you out of the danger zone of diabetes. Your risk of getting Type 2 diabetes is decreased by 50% if you lose around 5% of your body weight and get involved in physical activity for at least 30 minutes per day.