So, from an earlier April post, I wrote about the toxic effects sugar has on our bodies. To sum up: it is metabolized in the liver and quickly stored as fat. Too much stored fat in our livers leads to fatty liver, which inevitably seems to lead towards Type 2 Diabetes development, arguably one of the most devastating preventable diseases, and also one of the most prevalent among Americans.
Truly, Diabetes Type 2 incidence is running at epidemic-like proportions in our country, but very few people change their diets and exercise habits after one of many “come to Jesus” talks with their family doctors. Then, we seen them in the hospitals with out of control blood sugars, strokes, heart attacks, kidney failure, loss of eyesight, amputations, pain syndromes, and more. They always regret it after these serious events occur, but very few people care about preventing diabetes in the first place. It’s a sad and vicious cycle.
If you knew, I mean really knew, how awful diabetes was, would you do anything you could to prevent it??
I would. I’ve seen them, the slaves to blood sugar monitors and insulin sticks, hobbling around on feet they can’t feel, perhaps on dialysis from end-stage renal failure, maybe weak on one side permanently after a stroke, maybe bearing battle scars from open heart surgery after a heart attack. These people are at war with their own bodies, every hour of every day. I realize not everyone is privy to the graphic and sobering reality of how diabetes can ruin a person’s life. And most people think it can’t be that bad, because they know so-and-so who has diabetes, and he or she is doing fine…for now.
The questions then become, how can you prevent it? Do you have to be super scary skinny? Can you eat nothing you like in the way of sweets anymore?
Some answers lie in this article, from the New York Times, initially discussing the effects sugar has on an exercising body, but eventually addressing how exercise can prevent and even treat Type 2 Diabetes.
Sugar and Bodies in Motion
How does exercise prevent Diabetes? According to that article, exercising 30 minutes a day for 5 days a week significantly decreased the amount of stored fat in the liver, therefore reducing likelihood of having fatty liver, and preventing risk of diabetes. This held true even if the participants didn’t lose any weight. Exercise can also treat Diabetes to some extent, in that it is promoting a protective atmosphere against the toxic effects of sugar. So it’s never too late to start working out.
Additionally, it should be noted that being super scary skinny does not prevent diabetes, nor are they mutually exclusive. I have seen many skinny diabetics, granted, it is less frequently seen in smaller people. It’s about what you’re eating and that you’re working out.
If you don’t have diabetes and do want to prevent it, it’s not to say that you can’t eat sweets ever again; those who exercise even moderately metabolize sugars in a different way than sedentary people. Exercise, it seems, is protective against the toxic effects of sugar. For athletes working out more than 2 hours at a time, those power drinks and bars actually do help them to continue training at peak performance. The good news? For those of us who work out moderately, if you have that brownie or cupcake every so often, it won’t do the harm to your body it would if you didn’t work out. Now that’s sweet!