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
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%”