Health, according to the World Health Organization, is “a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease and infirmity”. A variety of definitions have been used for different purposes over time. Health can be promoted by encouraging healthful activities, such as regular physical exercise and adequate sleep, and by reducing or avoiding unhealthful activities or situations, such as smoking or excessive stress. Some factors affecting health are due to individual choices, such as whether to engage in a high-risk behavior, while others are due to structural causes, such as whether the society is arranged in a way that makes it easier or harder for people to get necessary healthcare services. Still other factors are beyond both individual and group choices, such as genetic disorders.
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While eating a diet high on fibre and probiotics can keep the gut health in top shape, consuming more carbohydrates and fats does the opposite! That increases the number of bacteria causing toxin accumulation in the body and upping bad cholesterol.
A good gut health may be helpful in keeping diabetes away and avoiding a diet high on carbs and fats can reduce your risk of the metabolic disorder, says a nutritionist. Diabetes, one of the fastest growing diseases worldwide, is rapidly rising due to several factors from lifestyle, family history to stress.
Studies suggest that the disease is also directly related to our gut health as there is an interdependence between gut bacteria and diabetes. Recent experiments indicate that the intestinal microflora is regulated by factors including genes, medications and the diet.
“Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disorder whereas type 2 diabetes has been related to lifestyle, genetics and environmental conditions. Research is been carried out to understand the root cause and better treatment of the disease. In the recent it is evident that there is a connection between your gut health and diabetes,” says Avantii Deshpaande, PCOS and Gut Health Nutritionist.
While eating a diet high on fibre and probiotics can keep the gut health in top shape, consuming more amounts of carbohydrates and fats does the opposite increasing the number of bacteria causing toxin accumulation in the body and upping bad cholesterol. This is turn can lead to obesity which increases the chance to get diabetes.
“The onset of Type 2 diabetes is often due to intake of high calories foods in the diet. Higher carbohydrates and fats in the diet cause obesity which then could lead to diabetes. This also alters the microbiome, with a decrease in the number of beneficial bacteria and increase in the number of bacteria which in turn increase the toxins accumulated in the body. These accumulated toxins increase the levels of triglycerides, LDL which is bad cholesterol and also reduce the good HDL cholesterol. This is the root cause of obesity which in turn can lead to insulin resistance,” says Deshpaande.
What is gut health?
Gut health refers to millions of microbiomes, majorly bacteria and some virus and fungi that live inside the large intestine. These microbiomes are capable of protecting our body, producing several nutrients and metabolites which are utilised by our body and removal of harmful wastes out of the body. There are also several harmful ones, the ones that cause diseases and other infections well.
“A good gut health ensures the balance between these two categories of microbiomes. Disturbances in the gut microbiome have been reported to decreases immunity, cause fatigue, affect the mental health, mood changes, depression, stress and cancer. Several metabolic and hormonal disorders like obesity, insulin resistance, diabetes, hypertension, PCOS, cardiovascular diseases are caused due to dysbiosis,” says the gut health nutritionist.
A diet rich in fibre can not only help manage diabetes but also prevent it as fibre acts as a prebiotic which help to increase the number of the good bacteria. These good bacteria produce short chain fatty acids (SFA) which act as food for the further production of more good bacteria.
Foods to prevent diabetes
“Type 2 diabetes happens to low grade inflammation which is related to the change in the microbiome. An anti-inflammatory diet consists of high fruits and vegetables, consuming whole grains- especially millets, including ingredients like ghee, coconut oil and turmeric. All these foods are responsible for increasing the good microbiomes which will reduce the inflammation in the body,” says Deshpande,
The nutritionist advises to focus on a diet that is high in fibre like fruits, vegetables, beans, millets and include more probiotics in the form of buttermilk or curds, 1 tsp of ghee in the diet every day. She also advises to keep the protein and good fats moderate in the diet and carbs low.
Apart from this, physical activity of at least 20 minutes every day can help prevent and manage diabetes.
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