Metabolic Diseases And Diet
Metabolism is a collection of chemical reactions that take place in the body’s cells to convert the fuel in the food one eats into the energy needed to power everything one does, from moving to thinking to growing.
Most people understand metabolism only in its simplest sense – as something that influences how easily our bodies gain or lose weight – without understanding the complex chemical process involved. That’s where calories come in. A calorie is a unit that measures how much energy a particular food provides to the body. Just as a vehicle stores petrol in its tank, the body stores calories – primarily as fat – till the engine calls for it. Just like filling the fuel tank above its capacity will cause it to spill on the ground (and no one in his right senses would do it, especially considering the high rates of petrol), extra calories consumed would ‘spill over’ in the form of excess fat on the body.
The number of calories a person burns in a day is affected by:
- How much he/she exercises
- The amount of fat and muscle in her body. Her Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR), a measure of the rate at which the body ‘burns’ energy, in the form of calories, while at rest. Why it alarms the weight watchers? BMR tells on your tendency to gain weight.
- If you have a low BMR (and thus burn fewer calories while at rest or sleeping) you will gain more kilos of body fat over time – compared to that similar-sized lady next door with an average BMR who eats the same amount of food and gets the same amount of exercise. Imagine – both of you go out and have the same dessert, but it’s you who will have to bear the burden, literally.
If your body does not produce or properly use insulin, a hormone that is required to convert sugar, starches, and other food into energy, you get a metabolic disorder called diabetes. High levels of blood glucose (sugar) characterise diabetes mellitus, and while it cannot be completely cured, it can be managed successfully through diet, exercise and medication –with a more than active involvement from the patient. The main objective of a diabetic diet is to maintain ideal body weight by providing adequate nutrition along with maintaining normal blood sugar levels.
- The diet plan for a diabetic is based on height, weight, age, sex, physical activity and the nature of diabetes.
- Diabetics must always need to take care of their diet and also about the food they eat. Care has to be taken because all foods contain not only carbohydrate, but also some energy value.
- Protein and fat available in the food are converted to glucose in the body. This glucose has effect on the blood sugar levels, which has to be taken care of.
Burn the Fat
1. Limiting the amount of solid fats — butter, margarine, etc. — you add to food when cooking and serving is one of the best ways to reduce saturated and trans fats in your diet. Use low-fat substitutes when possible for a heart-healthy diet.
2. You may also want to check the labels of the snacks from the supermarkets— even those labelled ‘reduced fat’, for they may be made with oils containing trans fat. Watch out for the phrase ‘partially hydrogenated’ in the ingredient list: that’s a dead giveaway that trans fat is present.
3. Olive oil or canola oil – being monounsaturated fats – are a better choice when you have to use cooking oil.
4. Polyunsaturated fats, found in nuts and seeds, also are good choices for a heart- healthy diet.
5. When used in place of saturated fat, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats may help lower your total blood cholesterol. But moderation is essential. All types of fat are high in calories.
Had Your Veggies?
- Vegetables and fruit are good sources of vitamins and minerals; they are low in calories and rich in dietary fibre.
- Whole grains are also a source of vitamins and minerals, such as thiamine,riboflavin, niacin, vitamin E, magnesium,phosphorus, selenium, zinc and iron.
- Various nutrients found in whole grains play a role in regulating blood pressure and heart health.