Wolfing down food makes you 2 1/2 times more likely to develop type 2 diabetes than someone who eats slowly because it turns on those genes even if you are thin, exercise and don’t smoke. Why? It’s the battle of the “I’m starving; no, you’re not” hormones. Two powerful appetite-regulating chemicals operate in the gut and brain: leptin and ghrelin. Ghrelin levels increase before meals signaling that it’s time to eat and to keep eating. Leptin levels increase as you eat, until your hunger is satisfied. If you short-circuit their counterregulatory dance, glucose levels go screwy, you overeat, and you change your gene functioning. That’s a recipe for type 2.
To let these hormones do their job, here are three fail-proof, tasty tricks:
Munch six walnut halves, a quarter of an avocado or a handful of almonds 30 minutes before a meal. The healthy fats slow stomach-emptying; you eat less and feel fuller.
Spend 30 minutes (or more) when eating a full meal. Savour flavors, enjoy conversation, and get trim!
Eat smaller meals more slowly and more often: Enjoy healthy foods (100 per cent whole grains, healthy fats, lean protein, fruits and veggies) six times a day to stabilise blood sugar levels and let ghrelin and leptin do their jobs.