Yes, more of us than ever are car­ry­ing a lit­tle ex­tra. And yes, it is dam­ag­ing for your health. But a few non-re­stric­tive di­etary switch-ups can sweeten your deal

Men's Health (UK) - - 2017 Survival Guide -

The Fear TV screens, sug­ary juice cleanses and our taste for fast food are all to blame for an uptick in your Type 2 risk. Ac­cord­ing to Pub­lic Health Eng­land, around four mil­lion peo­ple cur­rently have the dis­ease – that’s 9% of the UK adult pop­u­la­tion – with the fig­ure set to jump to five mil­lion by 2025. Not only does it cost the NHS nearly £9bn a year, ex­perts be­lieve 25% of suf­fer­ers are un­di­ag­nosed, mak­ing this a big, fat na­tional calamity wait­ing to hap­pen.

The Truth There’s no avoid­ing it; we are in­deed get­ting fat­ter, with the av­er­age male waist widen­ing from 34in in 1967 to a hefty 37in to­day. We’re also 10kg heav­ier than the pre­vi­ous gen­er­a­tion, with our bulging frames re­spon­si­ble for the bal­loon­ing di­a­betes risk, which, in turn, vastly in­creases your chances of de­vel­op­ing ev­ery­thing from heart dis­ease to kid­ney dis­ease and suf­fer­ing a stroke. In fact, ac­cord­ing to a study pub­lished in the jour­nal BMJ Open, 35% of Brits are now pre­di­a­betic – a 300% in­crease in­side a decade. You might be among them if your trousers mea­sure more than 35in, says Libby Dowl­ing, se­nior clin­i­cal ad­vi­sor at Di­a­betes UK. “Fam­ily his­tory, age and eth­nic­ity all play a role in your risk of de­vel­op­ing Type 2 di­a­betes, but the big­gest con­tribut­ing fac­tor is weight.” All of which calls for a di­etary judgement day.

The Plan To pretty much im­me­di­ately cut your risk in half, swap sweet snacks for some­thing much sharper. A Korean study pub­lished in the An­nals of Nu­tri­tion & Metabolism found fer­mented foods re­verse in­sulin re­sis­tance. In the study, two groups ate ei­ther fresh or fer­mented kimchi over a 16-week pe­riod. Both groups sig­nif­i­cantly de­creased their waist cir­cum­fer­ence and BMI, but the group din­ing on the fer­mented op­tion also or­dered up a side dish of in­creased in­sulin sen­si­tiv­ity and im­proved glu­cose tol­er­ance, less­en­ing their risk of Type 2 di­a­betes by a lip-smack­ing 33%. Which means opt­ing for a pick­led side with your on-trend Korean BBQ will help you scorch the earth of an early reck­on­ing.

“Fer­mented foods such as kimchi lessen the risk of di­a­betes by a lips­mack­ing 33%”

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