Did You Know the Surprising Role of Fat in Diabetes?
Created by Parentune Support Updated on May 23, 2021
Body fat, not body mass, determines your risk of type-2 diabetes. “If you are obese, you stand a higher chance of developing type 2 diabetes” – you might have heard this several times over in past from different professionals, including your doctors and nutritionists. However, surprisingly, a recent study, published in the journal of Cell Metabolism, counters a different theory and defies all understandings of what causes the disease. The results of the study urge doctors to evaluate body fat distribution, in addition to body mass index, to diagnose prediabetes and diabetes.
The findings have led professionals to find solutions on how to keep your diabetes in control naturally.
Old vs New Diabetes Findings
20 years ago, researchers made a significant study(source) about the action of protein kinase C epsilon (PKCɛ), an enzyme in the liver versus the cause of diabetes. The researchers suggested that the enzyme inhibited insulin activities by regulating the insulin receptors.
This research further prompted new studies where experts found that knocking down the PKCɛ gene in mice saved them from insulin resistance and glucose intolerance when they consumed high-fat food. However, the precise location of the enzyme activation remained vague in all research findings.
BMI alone is not a Good Indicator for Diabetes Risks. Buta new study(1), led by Australian based professionals, suggests that the enzyme is not triggered in the liver. In fact, the liver has no role in propagating the enzyme in spreading its harmful effects. It is the fat tissue in your body that activates the enzyme. The distribution of fat, and not the total amount of fat, will give us the required determinants about various risk conditions, such as insulin resistance, high blood pressure, cancer, and heart diseases.
Further studies, led by researchers of Florida in Gainesville, demonstrated that the accumulation of fat around certain body parts (that BMI does not account for) could alleviate the risks of diabetes and heart disorders.
In fact, researchers found that people with a low or normal BMI but high body fat, especially around the midsection or belly, stand a higher risk at developing prediabetes and diabetes when compared to individuals with high BMI according to their weight and height but low body fat percentage.
"Body Fat Percentage essentially calculates the percent of an individual’s fat quantity to their lean muscle quantity."
Lean people having extra fat accumulated around their belly or abdomen are more prone to various diseases. This Visceral Adipose Fat is also commonly referred to as pot belly, love handle, or beer belly. Carrying extra fat or weight along the abdominal line can significantly boost the chances of insulin resistance, thereby increasing the risk of diabetes and high blood pressure.
Therefore, those who have a high BMI with high waist circumference fall under the high-risk diabetes category invariably.
How to Measure BMI & Waist Circumference
Now that you know what fat can do to your body, you should measure your waist circumference and work towards normalizing your blood sugar naturally if required.
Measuring Body Mass Index
The BMI (amount of body fat)is calculated based on your height and weight. A normal BMI range falls between 18.5 and 24.9. You can use given below simple formula to calculate your BMI.
BMI= Weight in KG / (Height in Meter x Height in Meter)
For instance, assuming your weight is 80 and your height in the meter is 1.65 m (165 cm or 5 5”)
Then your BMI is 80 / (1.65 x 1.65) = 29.3
If your BMI falls between 15 and 30, you are overweight; if it falls between 30 and 35, you are obese; and anything above 35 is categorized as very obese. [Read - How to Treat Diabetes Using Natural Remedies?]
Measuring Waist Circumference
Waist circumference is the measurement around your mid-section just above your belly button and below your rib cage (Tip: stand facing a full-length mirror and bend sideways. Waistline is the area where the skin creases while bending).
You stand a higher chance of developing type-2 diabetes if:
- If you are a man and your waist circumference is >40 inches.
- If you are a woman and your waist circumference is >35.
Ways to Getting Rid of Abdominal Fat
If you live a sedentary life, consume a high amount of bad carbs and a low amount of proteins, good fats, and nutrients, you will invariably develop abdominal fat and push yourself to the diabetes zone. To achieve the best results, cut down bad carbs, trans fats, red meat, junk foods and include good carbs, fruits, lean meats, vegetables, and high fiber food in your diet.
Try following intermittent fasting and include 30 minutes of cardiovascular activities and strength training 5 days a week. Work with fitness instructors and nutritionists or dieticians to plan your diet and lifestyle. If you have any questions, shoot them in the comments below and receive answers from experts. [Check - Cardiovascular Activities at Home]
Henna is a proficient writer who firmly believes in the age-old remedies and holistic medicine as a primary cure for several diseases. After graduating she embarked on a journey to find the truth about holistic and natural remedies.