Dr Hector Perera

What is Diabetes? I am sure you all heard this before:
by Dr Hector Perera – London


The scientists have discovered that there are two types of diabetes that is type 1 and type 2.

Definition of Diabetes

Carbohydrates are the nutrient that impact blood sugars the most. If you have diabetes, it’s important to monitor your carbohydrate intake so that you may discover which foods work best for your blood sugars. Some people with diabetes benefit from following a consistent carbohydrate diet for which they eat the same amount of carbohydrates at the same time daily. Ask your registered dietitian or certified diabetes educator if you’d benefit from eating a fixed amount of carbohydrates at your meals.

Type 1 diabetes isn’t caused by poor diet or an unhealthy lifestyle. In fact, it isn’t caused by anything that you did or didn’t do, and there was nothing you could have done to prevent it. Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune condition. For reasons we don’t yet fully understand, your immune system – which is meant to protect you from viruses and bacteria – attacks and destroys the insulin-producing cells in your pancreas, called beta cells.

A hormone produced in the pancreas by the islets of Langerhans, which regulates the amount of glucose in the blood is called insulin. The lack of insulin causes a form of diabetes.  It is a protein responsible for regulating blood glucose levels as part of metabolism. It is possible to have diabetes with only very mild symptoms or without developing any symptoms at all. Such cases can leave some people with diabetes unaware of the condition and undiagnosed. This happens in around half of people with type 2 diabetes.

Insulin is crucial to life. When you eat, insulin moves the energy from your food, called glucose, from your blood into the cells of your body. When the beta cells in your pancreas fail to produce insulin, glucose levels in your blood start to rise and your body can’t function properly. Over time this high level of glucose in the blood may damage nerves and blood vessels and the organs they supply.

A condition known as prediabetes that often leads to type 2 diabetes also produces no symptoms. Type 2 diabetes and its symptoms develop slowly. Type 1 diabetes can go unnoticed but is less likely to do so. Some of its symptoms listed below can come on abruptly and be accompanied by nausea, vomiting or stomach pains.

It is important to see a doctor if there is any suspicion of diabetes or if any of the below signs and symptoms are present – prompt diagnosis and management lowers the likelihood of serious complications.

The most common symptoms are related to hyperglycaemia (high blood sugar levels), especially the classic symptoms of diabetes: frequent urination and thirst. Fatigue related to dehydration and eating problems can also be related to high blood sugars. This condition affects 400,000 people in the UK, with over 29,000 of them children. Incidence is increasing by about four per cent each year and particularly in children under five, with a five per cent increase each year in this age group over the last 20 years.

What causes type 1 diabetes?

More than 50 genes have been identified that can increase a person’s risk of developing type 1 diabetes, but genes are only part of the cause. Scientists are also currently investigating what environmental factors play a role.

What is known is that: Destruction of insulin-producing beta cells is due to damage inflicted by your immune system. Something triggered your immune system to attack your beta cells. Certain genes put people at a greater risk of developing type 1 diabetes, but are not the only factors involved. While there are no proven environmental triggers, researchers are looking for possible culprits, such as viral infections and particular molecules within our environment and foods.

Is type 1 diabetes hereditary?

Around 90 per cent of people with type 1 diabetes have no family history of the condition. Although other family members may carry the same ‘at risk’ genes, the overall risk of type 1 diabetes for multiple family members is generally low.

Diabetes is a metabolic disorder

Most of the food we eat is turned into glucose, or sugar, for our bodies to use for energy.

The oxidation of glucose represents a major source of metabolic energy for mammalian cells. Because the plasma membrane is impermeable to polar molecules such as glucose, the cellular uptake of this important nutrient is accomplished by special carrier proteins called glucose transporters. These are integral membrane proteins located in the plasma membrane that bind glucose and transfer it across the lipid bilayer. The rate of glucose transport is limited by the number of glucose transporters on the cell surface and the affinity of the transporters for glucose. There are two classes of glucose carriers described in mammalian cells: the Na+-glucose cotransporters (SGLTs) and the facilitative glucose transporters.

The pancreas, an organ that lies near the stomach, makes a hormone called insulin to help glucose get into the cells of our bodies. When you have diabetes, your body either doesn’t make enough insulin or can’t use its own insulin as well as it should.

This causes sugars to build up in the blood.

Diabetes can cause serious health complications including heart disease, blindness, kidney failure, and lower-extremity amputations.

Diabetes is predicted by a clear set of symptoms, but it still often goes undiagnosed.

The main 3 diabetes signs are: Increased thirst, Increased need to urinate, increased hunger.

Diabetes is becoming increasingly more common throughout the world, due to increased obesity – which can lead to metabolic syndrome or pre-diabetes leading to higher incidences of type 2 diabetes.

Stock Up on Non-Starchy Vegetables

By stocking up on non-starchy vegetables, you’ll increase the volume of food at your meals which can help to reduce total calorie intake. You’ll also increase your fibre intake, which can help to reduce cholesterol and lose weight.

Reduce Your Sodium Intake

A diet that is rich in sodium can increase your risk of developing hypertension (high blood pressure), which is a risk factor for developing heart disease. Because people with diabetes are at increased risk of developing heart disease, keeping your blood pressure at goal is important. In bread, cakes and biscuits there are plenty of sodium because they add sodium bicarbonate to raise the flour. In Sri Lanka people eat “Appa and dosai” to which they add this sodium bicarbonate as to raise the flour but if they eat within limits, I think it should be alright.

You will want to avoid adding salt to your food as well as increase your intake of fruits and vegetables, two food types that are naturally low in sodium and high in potassium which may have favourable effects blood pressure. A diet type that has worked for many people with diabetes is called the DASH diet.

Make It Fit Your Lifestyle

Nutrient-rich plans that are convenient, delicious, and culturally appropriate will help you make long-lasting changes to achieve and maintain body weight as well as prevent or delay complications of diabetes. Start making changes by setting simple, tangible and realistic goals. For example, if you never eat breakfast because you are in a rush in the morning, start by eating breakfast three days per week. Or if you have to start work early, pack breakfast in the morning and eat it at work.

Learn how to choose healthy choices when dining out or taking in food. And if you are not a chef, but want to start cooking, learn about basic skills and simple recipes. It takes time to make new behaviours.

How many diabetics are there?

According to the IDF, the number of diabetics in the world stands at 365 million people, representing around 8.5% of the global population.

There are approximately 2.9 million diabetic people in the UK according to Diabetes UK, and there’s thought to be around 500,000 people who may be diabetic but currently undiagnosed.

How is diabetes controlled?

Type 1 diabetes is controlled with insulin, either by regular injections of insulin or through wearing an insulin pump which drips insulin into the body through the day.

Type 2 diabetes can be controlled through diet and exercise, although it is common for people with type 2 diabetes to need medication such as tablets or injections to help them to keep their blood sugar levels within the normal range. Your comments are welcomed

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Health benefits of brown rice Dr Hector Perera: London

Energy means money that one has to spend to get them. Gas and electric are the main sources of energy in most countries unlike in the past. In the past back in Sri Lanka they used firewood stoves to cook and still some countries they use these resources for energy for cooking. I am cannot advice how to save energy in firewood stove cooking. I have cooked for a short time on firewood stoves, what can I say? The smoke, dust, ash and the heat given out while cooking is far too much to describe here.

Majority of the Sri Lankans eat rice and curries at least once a day. There are plenty of varieties of rice including brown and white rice and they all need different times to cook. One needs to experiment and see how long it will take to cook then need to adjust the time as required to cook a particular brand of rice. Some rice grains have no surface protective coating so they might take a shorter time to cook. Brown rice usually takes a little bit of more time than rice with no surface coating.

What Is Brown Rice?

Brown rice is an unrefined and unpolished whole grain which is produced by removing the surrounding hull of the rice kernel. Its grain retains its nutrient-dense bran and germ layer. It is chewier as compared to white rice and has a nutty flavour.

Germinated Brown Rice

Germinated brown rice, also known as ‘sprouted brown rice’, is another popular form of brown rice attributing to its high nutritional value. The high nourishing content of the germinated brown rice is due to the presence of gama-aminobutyric acid (GABA). The germinated form can be obtained by soaking and sprouting of the brown rice in water for a specified number of hours. This method has been considered best for obtaining the maximum amount of GABA and elevating the levels of proteins and good enzymes in the germinated brown rice. The process of germination also leads to significant increase in essential components such as frolic acid, lysine, magnesium, potassium, vitamin E, niacin, vitamin B 6, thiamine, and dietary fibre in the brown rice. These nutrients aid in better absorption during digestion and prevent intestinal irritations, inflammations, and allergies. It can be stored in dried form to increase its shelf life without affecting its advanced nutritional worth.

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My cooking challenge is still open – By Dr Hector Perera : London

There are far too many cooking programmes in British TV but the only thing is I didn’t figure out any technique of energy saving in cooking. The contestants or even the famous chef’s just cook without due care for any wastage of energy, may be because they do not have to meet the energy bill.

Poisonous gases given out while cooking

Researchers now understand that the process of cooking food and even simply operating stoves particularly gas appliances can emit a cocktail of potentially hazardous chemicals and compounds. Within our homes, these pollutants are less diluted than they are outdoors, and in the absence of proper ventilation, they often get trapped inside. In cold weather countries they hardly open the windows to let these gases escape may be because they are unaware of these poisonous gases. Most of the times, the houses have double glazed doors and windows to prevent any heat loss and that is quite natural but what about the poisonous gases that emit while cooking? Most of the times they have extractor fans to get rid of these gases but there must be some ventilation in the kitchen while cooking. I think these little points must be pointed out but the TV chefs hardly care about the safety. The cooker rings are at full blast while they cook and they are do not care about the energy wastage.

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Cooking, what is it? By Dr Hector Perera – London

The proposal I find most congenial both as a cook and as a chemistry teacher is this.  Cooking is the whole series of operations used by humans to turn raw materials, mainly animal carcasses and harvested plants, into food, that is, into something edible, digestible and nutritious. Those operations which I’ll talk about is energy wasted in cooking.

What is cooking?

Cooking is one of those everyday words that everyone knows. But what does it really mean? Is reheating leftovers cooking? How about making an emulsified salad dressing? Scrambling eggs? Baking cookies? Back home in Sri Lanka majority of people didn’t have the present day modern facilities such as gas and electric cookers, microwaves and ovens. They mainly depended on firewood for cooking. Even at our home including our mum used firewood for cooking. Most of the times a kitchen servant helped cooking and we call her “Kussi amma”. Majority of the present day people in Sri Lanka have these facilities just like in Western countries but they waste plenty of energy that is gas and electric during the process of cooking. Most British TV chefs hardly care about energy wastage in cooking. To believe me one should watch these British TV cooking programmes.

At its most basic, cooking means applying heat to food. But cooking is as much about the ways heat changes the food as it is about the heat itself. That’s because heating food does more than just make it hotter. It changes the food in other ways, too.

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Trans fat is considered by many doctors to be the worst type of fat you can eat

Dr Hector Perera London

Unlike other dietary fats, trans fat also called trans-fatty acids both raises your LDL (“bad”) cholesterol and lowers your HDL (“good”) cholesterol. A diet laden with trans-fat increases your risk of heart disease, the leading killer of men and women. Here’s some information about trans-fat and how to avoid it. In a C=C double bond if there are two groups are on the same side of the C=C bond then they are on CIS arrangement. If the groups such as CH3 or even H atoms on the opposite side of the C=C double bond then they are in TRANS position. They are the CIS and TRANS.

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What Is Cholesterol?

Dr Hector Perera London


To understand high blood cholesterol, it helps to learn about cholesterol. Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance that’s found in all cells of the body.

Your body needs some cholesterol to make hormones, vitamin D, and substances that help you digest foods. Your body makes all the cholesterol it needs. However, cholesterol also is found in some of the foods you eat. Butter, ghee, hard margarines, lard, dripping and goose fat, fatty meat and meat products such as sausages, Full fat cheese, milk, cream and yogurt, Coconut and palm oils and coconut cream. These food are supposed to have lots of bad cholesterol but if we limit the amount we eat then it would not do much harm.

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Why Chicken Skin Is Good For You

Dr Hector Perera London

When eat chicken curry along with other curries and rice, we hardly think of removing the skin before we eat, never thought about any healthy points either. Chicken up to twice or thrice a week is good for you. Chicken, along with fish and turkey, is white meat and often recommended for a healthy lifestyle. Your chicken intake in your daily meals can be in many different healthy ways such as baking or grilling chicken breast or serving it with a variety of sauces and vegetables. It is, however, important that this chicken be skinless and certainly not fried.

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Here are some evidence-based health benefits of turmeric or “Kaha”

Dr Hector Perera London

Turmeric contains bioactive compounds with powerful medicinal properties. Now we know that turmeric is the spice that gives curry its yellow colour. It has been used in India for thousands of years as a spice and medicinal herb. Recently, science has started to back up what the Indians have known for a long time. It really does contain compounds with medicinal properties. These compounds are called curcuminoids, the most important of which is curcumin.

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Greasy unhealthy food

If you travel along Kandy Colombo road, turn off to Kirindiwela road. A few miles from there you would be surprised to see a restaurant that offers meals for just one price. You can eat as much as you like for just one price. Sounds not bad at all. There are plenty of choices as well. One morning we went there then there were milk rice, appa, pittu, string hoppers and pol roti and many more. I am sure Sri Lankans know exactly what I mean. I cannot name them all here so why not drop in there and see for yourself.  They have extended their branches to Mount Lavinia as well. Then once we dropped in there for lunch, I couldn’t believe the choice of dishes and different kinds of rice available, just for one price. Now may be they have more branches as well. One thing, the takeaway or eat in food in Sri Lanka are much healthier than other takeaway food. Nearly all five star hotels have, eat as much as you like service but at a price.

If you have no time to go out to get a takeaway meal, just give them a ring and pay cash or card, it will be delivered to your doorstep in a matter of minutes so who would be tempted to home cook? I have seen mopeds are on the move especially in Colombo city area and even in highly developed Battramulla area.

Don’t get us wrong, we love to cook as much as the next person, but sometimes we need a break. Whether you’re celebrating a special occasion or didn’t have time to buy groceries, it’s good to treat yourself to a night on the town. And luckily, eating out doesn’t have to break your budget. Many restaurants offer great deals on appetizers, pasta and more. Lots of tasty food for a super low price? Sounds like a win-win to us. Check out the best restaurant deals at your favourite chains. 

Buffalo Wild Wings: Buy One, Get One Wings

It’s no surprise that some meals are loaded in calories, as it’s essentially three meals in one. When you order this dish they have to choose three different meats and two different sides and that’s on top of the roasted street corn, French fries, Chile-garlic toast, and pickles that already come with the dish. Indulging in this kind of meal will have you consuming over three days’ worth of the recommended sodium limit, and clocking in at 2,440 calories. This dish would require about 7.5 hours of walking just to burn it off so would you like it?

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What are calories?

Dr Hector Perera London

A calorie is a unit that measures energy. Calories are usually used to measure the energy content of foods and beverages. In order to lose weight, you need to eat fewer calories than your body burns each day.

How to Reduce Calorie Intake without Starving Yourself

It is known that in order to gain weight, more calories need to be entering your body than leaving it. Conversely, if more calories leave your body than enter it, then you lose weight. That being said, just cutting calories without regards to the foods you eat is usually not a sustainable way to lose weight. Although it works for some people, the majority of people end up hungry and eventually give up on their diet. For this reason, it is highly recommended to make a few other permanent changes to help you maintain a calorie deficit in the long term, without feeling starved.

Here are 5 evidence-based diet/lifestyle changes that have been shown to help people lose weight in numerous studies. Eating more protein can reduce appetite, cut cravings by 60% and increase the amount of calories you burn. Protein is the only food group that provides us with the nine essential amino acids to make muscle tissue. Without those amino acids, we would not build or make muscle tissue, resulting in muscle wasting and malnutrition.

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