Diabetes onset could be prevented, how? Sticking to a healthy, well-balanced diet can provide a lot of health benefits This may also help lower the risk of type-2 diabetes (the most common type of diabetes).
A kind of diet to help prevent and treat the disease is probably a healthy diet called as MNT (medical nutrition therapy) for diabetes. In general, MNT diet involves eating a wide variety of nutritious foods (moderate in calories & low in fats) and sticking to have regular mealtimes.
Also, other lifestyle measures, especially such as regular exercise, would also play a role to prevent the onset.
The disease can affect anyone, but statistics show that it is likely to occur in [reference]:
- Certain ethnic groups – the disease is more common in Asian-Americans, Hispanics, Africans, and American-Indians.
- People with poorly-controlled blood cholesterol.
- Those who are at the stage of prediabetes.
- Those who have poor physical activity (physically inactive).
- Those who have one or some family members diagnosed with diabetes.
- Obesity individuals – many cases of the disease occur in people with obesity.
- Age factor, the disease is more common in 45 years of age or older. In other words, your risk gradually increases as you age.
- And women with gestational diabetes, a temporary diabetes in pregnancy.
In addition, this disease is also likely to affect people who have frequent high blood pressure!
Again, eating right is one of crucial keys to help lower your risk of this disease. It is not only recommended for individuals who have many risk factors mentioned above, but also anyone who seriously want to keep healthy.
In general, focus on foods that can help maintain your blood sugar, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels.
It’s undeniable that what you eat can significantly affect the fluctuation of your blood sugar – and carbohydrates are the main culprit.
Carbohydrates are the most essential substance for your energy. So you cannot skip them at all!!
You don’t need to avoid them, but you need to eat them in moderation! For instance, don’t eat them too much if you don’t have adequate physical activity a day to burn them – just maintain the balance between your input and output!
Furthermore, the types of carbohydrates matter. Choose slow-release carbs (complex carbohydrates) instead of quick-release carbs (simple carbohydrates)!
Complex carbs can help make you full longer since they are relatively slower to digest. They are considered healthier in people with diabetes.
The following are goodies of complex carbs:
- Bran muffin.
- Cereals high in fiber (such as Raisin bran).
- Healthier breads, such as whole-grain /whole-wheat breads.
- Whole-wheat pasta.
- Sweet potatoes & cauliflower mash are also good choices.
- If you want to choose rice for your carbs, brown rice is the best recommendation.
GI or glycemic index is a parameter to determine how fast foods will be converted into glucose /sugar in your body.
Foods with low GI rate are considered better to prevent diabetes, because they are relatively slower to be converted into glucose. They are less likely to cause a spike in your blood sugar level.
Plus, most foods low in glycemic index are high in protein and fiber. For example, complex carbohydrates are not only low in GI rate but also usually contain protein and fiber.
Beans, lean meats, whole grains, seeds, and nuts are also low GI-foods. They are good things to help improve your insulin sensitivity.
- Don’t eat too much, higher than your body needs – also, eat your foods slowly!
- Never skip breakfast! If you skip your breakfast, you tend to lose control on what you eat in the next meal.
- Unhealthy fats are bad for blood sugar. Restrict your diet from saturated fats and trans-fats (such as animal products, fried foods, etc)! Instead, include more unsaturated fats such as avocadoes, walnuts, pecans, canola, almonds, and olive oil.
- Concentrated sweets (such as ice cream and sugar-sweetened beverages) also should be restricted. You can eat them, but go in moderation!
- Choose good sources for protein. Skinless chicken, fish (such as salmon and sardine), soy products, and beans are some good choices.
- Avoid refined grain products (such as regular white pasta) and white potatoes for your main meals. Because they are high in simple carbohydrates.
- Don’t consume fruit juices more than 1 cup /day! Although fruit juices have vitamins and other essential nutrients, but they are also concentrated-sweet food!
- Grains with the least-processed condition are more recommended. These include wheat barriers, whole barley, millet, and whole-kernel breads. Try also muesli-cereals, natural granola, or stone-ground bread – these are traditionally processed grains.
For in-depth information, there are many tables of glycemic index foods that you can find on internet.
Certain fruits are more recommended than others when it comes to lowering the risk of diabetes. Papayas, mangoes, bananas, or other tropical foods are commonly considered lower in GI rate.
Also, full your diet with adequate fiber from vegetables (particularly non-starchy vegetables).
Moreover, your dietary salt also should be concerned as well. Excessive consumption of salt can raise blood pressure. And as mentioned earlier, having high blood pressure may have a role to make diabetes more likely!
As noted before, eating the right type and amount of fat is important to maintain your blood sugar.
The following are some helpful tips:
- Rather than choosing heavy cream for a creamy soup, add low-fat sour cream or pureed potatoes in making a yummy soup.
- Rather than adding cheese to your sandwich, choose avocado to make your sandwich creamy in texture without sacrificing your health.
- Fried foods are very popular in this modern living – but did you know that they are loaded with a lot of trans-fats? You can eat them, but don’t go too much or avoid them if possible! Instead of frying – try broiling, grilling, or even steaming.
- If you notice any fat from meat that you want to cook, trim it off! Remove the skin of the chicken /turkey before you cook them.
- Instead of using vegetable oil or butter — olive oil is more recommended.
- Rather than using butter for baking; applesauce and canola oil are much healthier and also great in taste.
Also, eat salmon or other healthful fatty fish 2-3 times a week. This idea is a good way to reduce your dietary red meat!
Again, the key is moderation. If you have many risk factors of diabetes, this doesn’t mean that you need to skip sugar at all! You can still eat sugar and enjoy your favorite dessert, but remember — eat them in moderation!