Prevention is believed to be better than cure. A chronic disease such as diabetes if not controlled can lead to kidney failure, heart diseases and blindness. One of the best ways to control and reduce the risk of diabetes is through your diet. That doesn’t mean living in deprivation, but observing simple steps such as taking a healthy balance diet can reduce your risk of getting it.
Here’s what you can do to reduce the risk of diabetes
Choose the Right Healthy Food
Your choice of food is very essential if you need to prevent diabetes. According to National Diabetes Statistics Report, 7.2% of the U.S populations (i.e. about 23.1 million) were diagnosed with diabetes. But the good news is, 9 out of 10 cases of diabetes especially type 2 diabetes is preventable. Your healthy food choices can help manage your weight and reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes. 70% of people who have diabetes are overweight. There are currently weight loss pills that can help fight obesity and overweight. But if you minimize fat food intake like fried foods, cheese and milk can also be of good help. Cut back fats and calories and eat more of veggies and fruits. This will help manage your weight and reduce the amount of fats and calories consumed.
Avoid Sugar and Refined Carbs at All Cost
Eating sugary foods increases your risk of type 2 diabetes. The increase in blood sugar level stimulates the pancreas to produce a hormone called insulin. This hormone enables sugar to escape from the bloodstream into the body cells. As the blood sugar level increases over time, the pancreas will produce more insulin to lower blood sugar and this will lead to type 2 diabetes. Beverages such as soda and energy drink, corn syrup, table sugar, fruit juice concentrates and sorghum contain high amount of sugar. Minimizing your sugar intake lowers the risk of diabetes.
Refined carbs with high glycemic index can as well increase your risk of type 2 diabetes. Refined carbs (such as cereals, white rice, corn starch, potato starch, pudding and custards) digest faster and are easily absorbed in the bloodstream as sugar. Unrefined carbs with low glycemic index (whole grain like oats, barley, quinoa, whole meal flours, whole legumes, frozen meat and seafood) digest and are absorbed more slowly into the bloodstream. They have low sugar effects to your body. Studies have shown people that frequently consume fast digesting carbs with glycemic index were 40% more likely to develop diabetes.
Eat High Fiber Diet
As proposed by the US dietary guidelines, people who consume high fiber diet lower their risk of type 2 diabetes by 18%. Consuming high fiber can help absorb water, slow down the rate at which nutrients are absorbed, reduce your blood sugar level, promote weight loss and alter fermentation in the large intestine. You are adviced to eat about 20-30 grams of fiber each day. High fibre foods, fruits and vegetables include kidney beans, cereal, bananas, popcorn, oats, pastas, almonds, dark chocolate, pears, carrots etc. can help reduce your cholesterol and prevent spikes in your insulin level.
Your ability to prevent diabetes is more likely between you and your diet. Eating the right healthy diet and avoiding sugary foods and refined carbs can help maintain a low blood sugar level and insulin spikes, thus lowering the risk to diabetes.
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