Sunday, March 13, 2011

Lose Weight to Control Diabetes and Other Chronic Diseases

If you are obese, you may be at increased risk for a number of chronic diseases. But you stand a good chance of reducing your risk if you understand the relationship between obesity and chronic disease.

People who are obese are at high risk for type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is a condition in which your body does not process sugar properly. The cells become insensitive to insulin, which makes it hard for sugar to move into the cells after you have eaten. As a result, the sugar stays in your blood and builds up to unhealthy levels.

In many cases, losing weight can help to improve blood sugar levels. Successful weight loss for diabetes requires making improvements to your diet and getting regular exercise.

High Blood Pressure
If you are obese, you may be at risk for elevated blood pressure. This increase in blood pressure is in part related to the extra weight that you must carry around and the demand for extra blood to meet growing demands.

The high-calorie, high-fat and high carbohydrate diets that are often associated with excessive weight gain can cause plaque buildup in your arteries and may also be a factor in developing high blood pressure.

Reducing your intake of those foods and losing the excess body fat can help to lower your blood pressure.

Heart Disease
Obesity puts you at serious risk for a heart attack due to the increased work that your heart must perform in order to get blood to your vital organs. Chances are, you will also have a great deal of plaque in your arteries as a result of consuming large amounts of trans fats and saturated fats.

Eating large amounts of refined carbohydrates could also lead to increased plaque due to high levels of triglycerides in your blood.

Losing the excess weight and substituting foods that are high in unsaturated fats for trans fats and saturated fats can help to reduce your heart disease risk.

If you are obese and need to lose weight or need guidance on choosing the right foods for your condition, talk to a registered dietitian. Registered dietitians are the healthcare professionals most trained and qualified to provide nutrition counseling and consultation in matters related to diet and weight loss. To find a registered dietitian, visit the American Dietetic Association website at and click on the link to 'Find a Dietitian."