Diabetes, now a greater threat than ever

Diabetes, now a greater threat than ever

We’re all familiar with the stereotype. Eat lots of sugar and your chances of getting diabetes increase. You may be thinking…that can’t be me, right? But the truth is, many of us are consuming more unhealthy substances than we’re aware of. What’s more, some forms of diabetes run in the genes so you could still be crippled with hereditary diabetes despite living a healthy lifestyle. Diabetes poses a risk to all of us.

With changing dietary patterns and a rise in fast food culture, it’s no wonder that the number of diabetics in South-East Asia has surged. Diabetes is the result of overly high blood glucose or blood sugar levels. Blood glucose is our main source of energy and comes from the food we eat. Insulin, a hormone made by the pancreas, helps glucose from food get into our cells to be used for energy. When the body doesn’t make enough insulin or doesn’t use this insulin well, glucose stays in the blood and fails to reach our cells. There are two types of diabetes, one of which happens when the pancreas doesn’t produce enough insulin (type 1) or when the body can’t effectively use the insulin it produces (type 2). Your first step to reduce the risk of diabetes could be to avoid these foods and get health insurance.

1. Sugar-heavy snacks

Have a sweet tooth? Make sure you consume these decadent treats in moderation. Other than biscuits and chocolate, many other foods have shockingly high sugar content. These include microwavable meals, low-fat yogurts, ketchup, baked beans and more. To be on the safe side, you should aim to cut your sugar intake by half to around 25g or 5 teaspoons a day. Artificial sweeteners and dark chocolate are healthier options that taste just as good.

2. Soft drinks and fruit juice

While fruits may be a healthy snack, fruit juice contains a lot of sugar and calories. It is hence recommended to keep to just a small glass of 150 ml a day. And if you’re craving a soft drink, choose diet coke instead!

3. Processed foods

Heavily processed carbohydrates such as those made with white flour, white sugar and white rice have high sugar levels. These include breads, muffins, cakes, crackers and pasta. Such foods are known to be the main culprits of diabetes as they cause spikes in blood sugar and insulin levels. Eventually, this could result in type 2 diabetes. To reduce risks, limit your intake of food made with processed carbohydrates and opt for whole-grain options instead.

4. Saturated and trans fats

Unhealthy saturated and trans fats can increase blood cholesterol levels. High cholesterol increases the risk of you getting type 2 diabetes. Trans fats can come from packaged baked goods and fried food.

In addition, saturated fats can be found in fatty meats, butter and full fat dairy products. To avoid consuming too much of these fats, avoid chicken skin and use olive oil to cook your meals.

5. Red and processed meats

If you’re practically a carnivore, this applies to you. You may want to cut down on processed meat like bacon, hot dogs and deli meats as these can increase the risk of type 2 diabetes. Even one 3-ounce serving of red meat a day can increase your diabetes risk dramatically! Switching to other protein sources will not only reduce your diabetes risk, it can help to improve your health. Salmon, sardines, eggs and grass-fed beef are healthier options for you to try.

How health insurance can protect you

If you have a family history of diabetes, it would be wise to get protection while you still can. This is because many health insurance policies do not offer coverage for pre-existing medical conditions. In the unfortunate event that you get diabetes, health insurance can provide you with some financial relief. Here’s some ways health insurance will come in handy if you get diabetes.

Kidney dialysis treatment

Kidney dialysis is already more costly than the treatment of other chronic illnesses, such as stroke.
When diabetes reaches advanced stages, the cost doubles! If you become afflicted with diabetes, you would end up paying huge amounts of cash just to cover kidney dialysis, not to mention sky-high hospitalisation costs. Getting comprehensive coverage is hence critical to protect you from these.

Inpatient and outpatient care

When suffering from diabetes, you would have to pay exorbitant amounts for medicine, hospitalisation fees and more. People with diagnosed diabetes are even said to have medical expenditures that are approximately 2.3 times higher than those without diabetes. A comprehensive plan can hence help to cover your medical bills.

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