Study Highlights the Role of Diet and Exercise in Diabetes Management

Diet and Exercise in Diabetes ManagementDiabetes when left undiagnosed or untreated can have a serious impact on your health. medicalnewstoday carried a report on a recent study which found that though it is generally considered that the benefits from exercise, weight loss and diet are interchangeable, when it comes to managing Type 2 diabetes risk they may offer unique and cumulative benefits.

The Saint Louis University study enrolled inactive, overweight, middle-aged men and women who were allotted to one of the three groups formed with the objective of reducing weight by 6 – 8% through exercise, calorie restriction or a combination of both these methods. The study team recorded the insulin sensitivity level of the participants; insulin sensitivity level is a marker for diabetes risk which evaluates how effectively the body is able to utilize insulin. A low level indicated a risk of Type 2 diabetes.

Here are the results of the study:

  • Both exercise and calorie restriction had positive effects on insulin sensitivity.
  • Interestingly, the group that did both saw twice the improvement in insulin sensitivity than other groups.
  • Both diet and exercise have additive beneficial effects on glucoregulation or the steady maintenance of glucose/sugar in the body.
  • Weight loss induced by exercise did not bring about greater improvements in glucoregulation than calorie restriction by itself. The study found that calorie restriction just as exercise may be offering benefits more than those connected with weight loss alone.

The study findings are an eye opener for normal people who typically fall into two groups – one group that may exercise regularly but won’t compromise on their food habits and the other group that may take effort to change their food habits but don’t invest time in exercising.

The study concluded that “you can be healthier if you exercise and eat the right amount of food. There is more to be gained by including both approaches in your life.”

So it is important to lead a healthy lifestyle giving equal importance to both diet and regular exercise. This will ensure the good health and overall wellbeing that is vital to perform one’s day to day activities independently.