Type 2 Diabetes is a chronic and progressive condition that affects the way your body controls the amount of sugar in its blood. This type of diabetes is caused by changes in one's hormones and organs over time, which leads to a gradual increase of glucose (sugar levels) in the body. Insulin is a hormone that helps control the sugar levels in your body, but type 2 diabetes inhibits its ability to function the way it should. While type 2 diabetes is irreversible, a lot can be done to help keep the condition manageable. With the right diet, for example, its effects can be dampened or even reversed. Here are some ways that a proper diet can prevent or ease type 2 diabetes.
1. Cut out highly processed carbohydrates
It is now quite common knowledge that processed carbs can have adverse effects on one's health. Many highly processed carb products such as white bread, white rice, mashed potatoes, donuts, bagels, and many breakfast cereals cause spikes in blood sugar and insulin levels. These spikes can lead to an increased risk of developing diabetes, or can aggravate the conditions. In contrast, vegetables are healthy complex carbs with fibers that allow sugar to be slowly released into your system, making it less likely for the body to be overloaded with sugar. Adjusting your diet to have less processed carbs and more veggies is a great way to ensure that your sugar levels are managed
2. Avoid sugary drinks
Beverages such as sodas and juices contain an immense amount of sugar in just one serving. Many studies have shown that high sugar drinks can lead to chronic inflammation, high triglycerides, and decreased “good” (HDL) cholesterol. These all make it more likely for your body to begin to resist insulin and its effects, increasing your risk of diabetes. Instead of sugary drinks, try to incorporate more water into your diet.
3. Skip out on Trans Fats
Trans fats can be found in items such as many kinds of margarine, packaged baked goods, fried foods in most fast-food restaurants, and any product that listed “partially hydrogenated vegetable oil.” Consuming trans fats has been linked to an increase in LDL (bad) cholesterol and reduced HDL (good) cholesterol. Like mentioned earlier, these changes in the body can lead to a heightened insulin resistance and thus a greater chance of type 2 diabetes developing.
4. Leave red and processed meat
There is increasing evidence that red meats (such as beef, pork, and lamb) and processed meats (such as bacon, hot dogs, and deli meats) are linked with the onset of diabetes. Research from Nurse’s Health studies I and II show that eating even small amounts of processed red meat each day—just two slices of bacon, one hot dog, or the like—increased diabetes risk by 51%. Instead of eating these meats, choose to eat foods such as nuts, beans, whole grains, poultry, or fish. The same studies showed that consuming these products can decrease the risk of diabetes by 35%.
Anon., n.d. Harvard School of Public Health. [Online]
Available at: https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/disease-prevention/diabetes-prevention/preventing-diabetes-full-story/
[Accessed 2 August 2019].
Anon., n.d. Mayo Clinic. [Online]
Available at: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/type-2-diabetes/symptoms-causes/syc-20351193
[Accessed 2 August 2019].