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You don't have to be overweight to suffer from diabetes

Written by Editorial Team |Updated : October 7, 2014 5:26 PM IST

diabetesIf you think losing weight is enough to prevent diabetes, don't get your hopes up! What you eat and not just the number of calories is a significant factor in diabetes risk, a new study suggests. The study found that the postprandial (after eating a meal) levels of circulating metabolites in the blood of identical twins tends to be similar after a fast food meal, independent of weight difference.

Researchers compared genetically identical twins - one heavier and one leaner - and found that after eating a fast-food meal, the circulating metabolites, including those related to Type 2 diabetes, were found in both individuals at the same levels. These findings suggest that the onset of this type of diabetes is largely influenced by genetic factors and/or the composition of gut microbiota.

"Our study contributes to better understanding of the genetic and environmental factors influencing several risk factors which are associated with obesity and metabolic disease (eg Type 2 diabetes)," said Matej Oresic, study author from the Steno Diabetes Centre in Gentofte, Denmark. "As such, our study may contribute to the efforts aimed at prevention and treatment of metabolic complications associated with obesity," said Oresic. Here's how fibre can help you to prevent diabetes

Scientists studied identical twin pairs, where the twins differed in weight. They were healthy young adults from a national (Finnish) study of twins. The twins ate a fast food meal, and then gave many blood samples over several hours. A broad panel of small molecules (ie, metabolites) was measured in blood, including amino acids, fatty acids and bile acids. The diversity of fecal microbiota also was assessed at the baseline. Results showed that twin-pair similarity is a dominant factor in the metabolic postprandial response, independent of obesity. Read more about sedentary lifestyle and diabetes risk.

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Branched chain amino acids, known risk factors of diabetes, were increased in heavier as compared to leaner co-twins in the fasting state, but their levels converged postprandially. The research was published in The FASEB Journal. Here are things you should know about prediabetes.

Here are some tips to prevent diabetes

1. Get your sugar levels checked: A lot of people have prediabetes (fasting sugar: 100-125 mg/dl) and are totally clueless about it. A blood sugar test will help you to understand whether you're prediabetic and what are your chances of developing diabetes. If you get diagnosed with prediabetes, then you can take the right steps and prevent it from transforming into irreversible diabetes. Here are things you should know about prediabetes.

2. Change your lifestyle: Sometimes, small changes can make a huge difference. Lifestyle intervention for preventing diabetes is the best example for this. Several studies on diabetes prevention programme have proved that diabetes can be prevented effectively by giving up sedentary lifestyle and adopting healthier changes. Read more about sedentary lifestyle and diabetes risk.

3. Eat healthy: Eat a healthy diet that has low calories, especially low saturated fats. Trials have shown that fat intake should not exceed 30 percent of the total calorie intake, whereas saturated fats should be restricted to just 10 percent. Include more of vegetables, fresh fruits, whole grains, dairy products and sources of omega 3 fats. Also, increase your fibre intake. Read more about 10 tips to prevent diabetes

With inputs from IANS

Photo source: Getty images

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