What does your picture of a healthy person look like? Are they slim, ordo they appear to be of “normal” weight? Probably.
And now do the same for an unhealthy one. I’d imagine you’re seeing somebody overweight. You might think that given their weight, they may have a heart condition, diabetes, or metabolic problems.
There’s a good chance you’d be right. But that doesn’t mean the normal weight person is off the hook. Not by a long shot.
In fact, a new study of postmenopausal women found that even “normal” weight women can have a high risk of type-2 diabetes. Poor control over blood sugar and unhealthy triglyceride levels don’t always show up on the mirror or the scale.
It is possible for a normal weight-defined as having a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 18.5 and 24.9 to be metabolically unhealthy. That means that despite their weight, they may have high blood sugar, low levels of “good” HDL cholesterol, and high blood pressure.
Even though their body might not hold onto weight, food choices may still cause metabolic components to be unhealthy.
Using data from the Women’s Health Initiative, researchers observed that women who were normal weight and metabolically unhealthy, as well as metabolically healthy women who were overweight, both had nearly double the risk for type 2 diabetes than those who were metabolically healthy and normal weight.
Women who were overweight and in poor metabolic health were four times more likely to get diabetes.
Scale weight does not tell the whole story. Making efforts to keep blood sugar at safe levels, and HDL levels high, can help battle what might be an unexpected health concern.
Eating whole grains, nuts, healthy fats, and fiber-rich fruits can help manage blood sugar and boost HDL, helping you to reduce the risk of diabetes regardless of your weight.