New research shows that for those afflicted with type 2 diabetes, losing even 15 or 20 pounds can send the disease into remission.
Some 400 million people worldwide have type 2 diabetes, a condition — characterized by high blood glucose levels — that can lead to heart disease, stroke, amputations, and blindness.
Doctors have long known that an intensive low-calorie regimen can return blood levels to normal, but such programs typically call for a total daily intake of only 700 calories for a period of two months — a diet difficult for most people to adhere to. (The USDA dietary guidelines for 2015-2020 estimate daily caloric requirements for adults under normal conditions at 1,800 to 2,200 for women, 2,200 to 2,800 for men, depending on age and activity level.)
However, a new study out of England’s University of Cambridge suggests that those who achieve a 10% weight loss (for instance, 15 pounds if you weigh 150; 20 pounds if you weigh 200) in the first five years following a diabetes diagnoses are more than twice as likely to go into remission as those who maintain the same weight. Of course, treatment can’t begin unless you know that you have the disease. These are 10 warning signs that you might have diabetes.
A British government health official, Dr. Hajira Dambha-Miller from the Department of Public Health and Primary Care, acknowledges that the traditional intensive weight-loss program “can be very challenging to individuals and difficult to achieve.” On the other hand, she says, the more modest goal “will be more motivating and hence more achievable for many people.”
Sometimes shedding pounds isn’t simply a matter of eating less. It can also be a matter of eating the right foods — for instance, these 23 fall superfoods for weight loss.