In one study, people who ate breakfast were 35 to 50 percent likely to be overweight or have insulin resistance than breakfast skippers. What’s going on? An overnight fast puts your body into “starvation mode.” If you don’t eat breakfast, your liver churns out stored to keep your blood sugar levels up. At the same time, skipping breakfast flips biochemical switches that reduce the body’s response to insulin. And it raises levels of an appetite-stimulating hormone called ghrelin so you want to eat more all day long. Do this often enough, and you gain weight, say scientists from Children’s Hospital Boston.
What’s for breakfast? Certainly not a bagel (too much carbs) or store-bought muffin (too many calories and hydrogenated oils). Instead pour yourself a bowl of high-fiber cereal with fat-free milk and throw some berries on top for good measure. One University of Toronto study of people with prediabetes found that high-fiber cereals made their cells “listen” better to insulin than lower-fiber fare. Yogurt with fresh berries is also a good choice.
If You’re Depressed, Get Help
If you’re depressed, you are much less likely to exercise and eat well. But the health dangers don’t end there. Stanford University scientists think that depression itself alters body chemistry n profound ways that spell trouble for anyone at risk for diabetes. Rates of insulin resistance were 23 percent higher among depressed women than among women who weren’t depressed, regardless of body weight, exercise habits, or age.
Get Better Sleep
A chronic lack of sleep leads to weight gain and reduces your body’ sensitivity to insulin. In one Yale school of Medicine study of 1,709 men, those who averaged five to six hours of slumber per night doubled their risk of diabetes. Studies of women have found similar results.
Get Out The Tape Measure
Women whose waists measure 35 inches or more and men whose midsection measure 40 inches or more are more likely to have fat deep in their abdomens, which can triple the risk of diabetes while you’re probably overweight if your waist is big, researchers report that they’re seeing more people at a normal weight who also have big waists, so don’t think it’s enough to simply watch the numbers on the scale.
Think diet soda is safe? Think again. Sipping just one can of diet soda per day raised the risk of metabolic syndrome by 34 percent in one recent study and 48 percent in another. Experts aren’t sure why.