Weight Loss and Help For Diabetes – the Fibre Solution

August 24, 2010

Simply increasing the amount of fermentable carbohydrates found in foods such as asparagus, garlic, chicory and Jerusalem artichokes could be used to aid weight loss and prevent Type 2 diabetes according to new research currently being funded by leading health charity Diabetes UK.

Type 2 diabetes accounts for 90 per cent of all those diagnosed with diabetes and, if left untreated, can lead to serious health complications including heart disease, stroke, blindness, kidney failure and amputation. It’s also estimated that there are up to half a million people with undiagnosed Type 2 diabetes in the UK, which can remain undetected for 10 years or more. This means that around half of the population who are diagnosed and begin treatment for Type 2 diabetes may already have diabetes-related complications.

Sustained weight loss can delay and even prevent Type 2 diabetes and research in recent years has suggested that certain foods are particularly good at stabilizing blood glucose levels. Fermentable carbohydrates are one such example and, unlike most of our dietary carbohydrates, are fermented by bacteria in the colon rather than absorbed in the small intestine. As a result these carbohydrates cause the release of gut hormones that could reduce appetite and enhance insulin sensitivity, which could lead to improved blood glucose control and weight loss.

The research is being carried out by the Nutrition and Research Group at Imperial College, London, where dietitian Nicola Guess has been awarded a three-year Fellowship to investigate the role fermentable carbohydrates could play in Type 2 diabetes prevention. The carbohydrate will be given to participants as a daily supplement during three periods of investigation, each examining different mechanisms involved in the prevention of Type 2 diabetes.

Risk Factors for Type 2 diabetes

The risk factors for Type 2 diabetes include being overweight, more than 40 years old, being of Black or South Asian origin and having a family history of the condition. It is also increasingly becoming more common in children, adolescents and young people of all ethnicities. There is also a more specific risk for women who contract diabetes as adults as research has shown that they are more vulnerable to both ovarian and bowel cancer.

If any of those risk factors apply to you, then some simple dietary adjustments could make all the difference and if you would like more help with diabetes information the Diabetes UK Careline (0845 120 2960) offers information and support on any aspect of managing the condition. The line is a low cost number and opens Monday to Friday between 9am and 5pm or visit www.diabetes.org.uk


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