Diabetes is a chronic disease that occurs because the body is unable to use blood sugar or glucose properly. The exact cause of this malfunction is unknown, but risk factors include genetics, age, pregnancy (gestational), poor diet, lack of exercise, obesity, poor choices or behaviors like smoking, and environment can play a part. Lack of insulin production is primarily the cause of diabetes (type 1). It occurs when insulin-producing cells are damaged or destroyed and stop producing insulin, which is needed to move blood sugar into cells throughout the body.
The resulting insulin deficiency leaves too much sugar in the blood and not enough in the cells for energy. Insulin resistance is specific to type 2 diabetes. Pre-diabetes occurs when insulin is produced normally in the pancreas, but the body is still unable to move glucose into the cells for fuel. At first, the pancreas will create more insulin to overcome the body’s resistance, causing blood-sugar levels higher than normal but still not diagnosable as full-fledged diabetes.
Eventually the cells “wear out” and stops insulin production, as insulin resistance increases, leaving too much glucose in the blood and transitioning in to type 2 diabetes. According to the American Diabetes Association it’s estimated that up to 70 percent of people with prediabetes go on to develop type 2 diabetes. Fortunately, progressing from prediabetes to diabetes isn’t inevitable, however. The 3rd type of diabetes is gestational diabetes which occurs only during pregnancy due to insulin-blocking hormones.
More than 30.3 million Americans have diabetes, or 9.4 percent; of those, about 7.2 million don’t know they have it. Experts estimate that number will double to 60 million by 2050, with 1.5 million new cases diagnosed every year, and that is why it’s important to know the Foods To Avoid For Diabetes. Diabetes is the leading cause of blindness and kidney failure among adults. It causes mild to severe nerve damage that, coupled with diabetes-related circulation problems, can often lead to the loss of a limb or a foot.
Diabetes Increases the Risk of Heart and Cardiovascular Disease.
The American Heart Association makes a clear connection with diabetes and heart disease, per these statistics:
At least 68 percent of people age 65 or older with diabetes die from some form of heart disease; and 16 percent die of stroke,
The American Heart Association considers diabetes to be one of the seven major controllable risk factors for cardiovascular disease.
And it’s the seventh leading cause of death in the U.S., directly causing almost 79,535 deaths each year and contributing to thousands more as the underlying cause of death, for a total of 252,806 death certificates listing diabetes as an underlying or contributing cause of death according to the American Diabetes Association (ADA). The good news is that diabetes is largely preventable. 90 percent of the cases could be avoided by simply by making healthy choices like keeping your weight under control, exercising more, eating a healthy diet, and not smoking.
Genetics Influence. According to the American Diabetes Association, genetics are a factor and uncontrollable, as statistics show that if you have a parent or sibling with diabetes, your odds of developing it yourself increases. Cystic Fibrosis and hemochromatosis, both inheritable, can both damage the pancreas leading to a higher likelihood of developing diabetes according to a 2016 Journal of Pathology reviewed by the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
Overweight and Obesity-Related. Being overweight or obese is the biggest risk factor for type 2 diabetes. However, diabetes risk is higher if you tend to carry your weight around your abdomen, called visceral fat, as opposed to your hips and thighs. A lot of belly fat surrounds the abdominal organs and liver and is closely linked to insulin resistance and diabetes.
Excess visceral fat promotes inflammation and insulin resistance, which significantly increase the risk of diabetes according to research. A 2012 JAMA(NIH)study visceral fat and insulin resistance, but not general adiposity, were independently associated with incident prediabetes and type 2 diabetes mellitus in obese adults.
A 2016 Yonsei Medical Journal study reviewed by NIH found that visceral fat mass has stronger associations with diabetes and prediabetes than other obesity indicators among Korean adults. One Diabetes Care study, confirmed by the NIH, of more than 1,000 people with prediabetes found that for every 2 pounds or so (2.2 pounds) of weight participants lost, their risk of diabetes reduced by 16 percent, up to a maximum reduction of 96 percent.
According to research from the University of California Berkeley, calories obtained from fructose found in sugary beverages such as soda, energy and sports drinks, coffee, and processed foods like doughnuts, muffins, cereal, candy and granola bars, are more likely to add visceral weight around your abdomen.
Foods To Avoid For Diabetes
Poor Diet High-Sugar Foods and Refined Carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are foods that have the biggest effect on your blood glucose levels. After you eat carbohydrates, your blood glucose rises almost immediately. Fruit, sweet foods and drinks, starchy foods, such as bread, potatoes and rice, and milk and milk products contain carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are important for health.
But when you eat too many carbohydrates at once, your blood glucose can go too high as confirmed by this NIH review on carbohydrates. This is even more likely if you don’t have or take enough insulin for that food. Not all carbohydrates can be broken down and absorbed by your body. Foods with more non-digestible carbohydrates, or fiber, less processed foods, and nutrient-dense foods, are healthier and less likely to increase your blood sugar out of the safe range, according to this Harvard T H Chan School Of Public study.
These slow-digestible carbs include foods such as beans, oatmeal, brown rice, non-starchy vegetables, and 100 per cent whole grains. Simple or processed carbohydrates raise blood glucose (glycemic index) more than others. These include potatoes, sweets, and white bread, and most processed foods.Cutting back on sugary foods and refined carbohydrates can mean a slimmer waistline as well as a lower risk of diabetes, per this Harvard T H Chan School Of Public Health study.
Many studies have shown a link between the frequent consumption of sugar or refined carbs and the risk of diabetes. What’s more, replacing them with foods that have less of an effect on blood sugar may help reduce your risk. Here are a few examples on the research.
One 2014 BMC Public Health study reviewed by the NIH found that results indicated independent associations between diabetes mellitus prevalence rates and per capita sugar consumption both worldwide and with special regard to the Asian region.
An American Journal of Clinical Nutrition study with NIH review, showed increasing intakes of refined carbohydrate (corn syrup) with decreasing intakes of fiber paralleled the upward trend in the prevalence of type 2 diabetes observed in the United States during the 20th century.
A PLOS|ONE 2013 study reviewed by NIH determined that declines in sugar exposure correlated with significant subsequent declines in diabetes rates independently of other socioeconomic, dietary and obesity prevalence changes. One 2015 Journal of Nutrition study confirmed by the NIH, good dietary substitutes for refined carbs are diets that are rich in low-GI carbohydrates, cereal fiber, resistant starch, fat from vegetable sources, or unsaturated fat, and lean sources of protein should be encouraged, whereas refined sugars and refined grains (high-GI carbohydrates) are to be avoided in order to lower risk of type 2 diabetes.
And finally, a detailed analysis of 37 studies published in the Journal of Clinical Nutrition reviewed by NIH found that people with the highest intakes of fast-digesting carbs were 40 percent more likely to develop diabetes than those with the lowest intakes. According to the NIH, losing just 5 percent to 7 percent of your total weight can help you lower your blood sugar, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels. Losing weight and eating healthier “gut-feeling-foods” can also have a profound effect on your mood, energy, and sense of well being according to a Harvard Medical School review.
Processed carbs like white rice, white pasta, and white bread are missing the fiber from the original grain, so they raise blood glucose higher and faster than their intact, unprocessed counterparts. In a six-year study of 65,000 women, those with diets high in refined carbohydrates from white bread, white rice, and pasta were 2.5 times as likely to be diagnosed with type 2 diabetes compared to those who ate lower-glycemic-load foods, such as intact whole grains and whole wheat bread. An analysis of four prospective studies on white rice consumption and diabetes found that each daily serving of white rice increased the risk of diabetes by 11 percent.
Added Or Hidden Sugars. We look at these separately because they are hidden sugars in foods you may be eating unintentionally. Since diabetes is characterized by abnormally elevated blood glucose levels, of course, it is wise to avoid foods that cause dangerously high spikes in blood glucose, primarily refined or processed foods, such as sugar-sweetened drinks which are devoid of fiber, to slow the absorption of glucose in the blood.
Fruit juices and sugary processed foods and desserts have similar effects. These foods promote hyperglycemia and insulin resistance, and promote the formation of advanced glycation end products (AGEs) in the body. Modern diets are largely heat-processed and as a result contain high levels of advanced glycation end products (AGEs). Dietary advanced glycation end products (dAGEs) are known to contribute to increased oxidant stress and inflammation, which are linked to the recent epidemics of diabetes and cardiovascular disease, determined a 2013 Journal of the American Diet Association study reviewed by the NIH.
The average American eats 22 teaspoons of added sugar per day, according to the American Heart Association. You’re likely not adding that much sugar to food yourself, so could you really be eating that much unintentionally? Well, yes, says Erin Gager, R.D., L.D.N., a dietitian at The Johns Hopkins Hospital, because sugar is in a lot more foods than you may think.
To identify hidden sugars look for ingredients on food labels with words that end in “ose”, like fructose, sucrose, maltose, dextrose. Other examples of added sugar include fruit nectar, concentrates of juices, honey, agave and molasses.
High Sodium Foods. Having diabetes doesn’t mean you have to cut salt and sodium from your diet. However, people with diabetes should cut back on their sodium intake since they are more likely to have high blood pressure, a leading cause of heart disease, than people without diabetes. Aim for less than 2,300 mg of sodium a day. Your doctor may suggest you aim for even less if you have high blood pressure.
According to the American Heart Association (AHA), about 70 percent or more of the sodium Americans eat is from processed, packaged, or restaurant foods, and that’s why you should avoid these types foods. Many companies are slowly trying to lower the amount of sodium in their products, but there is still much work to be done. A 2017 Diabetologia study reviewed by ScienceDirect found that sodium intake may be linked to an increased risk, as much as 43 percent, of developing both type 2 diabetes and latent autoimmune diabetes in adults.
A sodium-restricted diet has long been a first line of intervention for people with hypertension and is particularly important in those with type 2 diabetes according to a 2014 Clinical Diabetes study reviewed by NIH. In 2010 the American Heart Association (AHA) study recommended that those at risk of heart disease, including all people with type 2 diabetes, further limit their dietary sodium to 1,500 mg/day.
Fried Foods. Overdoing it on greasy, fried foods can lead to weight gain and wreak havoc on your blood sugar. French fries, potato chips, and doughnuts are particularly bad choices for diabetics because they’re made with carb-heavy, starchy ingredients, which can cause blood glucose levels to shoot up. And, most likely laden with unhealthy trans fats also, which is doubly bad, because they’ve been deep-fried in hydrogenated oils.
A 2014 T H Chan Harvard Medical School review warned that eating fried foods tied to increased risk of diabetes and heart disease. In 2014 a American Journal of Clinical Nutrition study reviewed by the NIH found that frequent fried-food consumption was significantly associated with risk of incident type 2 diabetes and moderately with incident coronary artery disease. The study concluded that participants who ate fried foods 4-6 times per week had a 39 percent increased risk of type 2 diabetes, and those who ate fried foods 7 or more times per week had a 55 percent increased risk, compared with those who ate fried foods less than once per week.
Saturated Fats. One of the Foods To Avoid For Diabetes are high-fat dairy products and animal proteins such as butter, fatty beef, and processed meats such as hot dogs, sausage and bacon. Also, limit coconut and palm kernel oils. Because saturated fat raises blood cholesterol levels people with diabetes are at high risk for heart disease and limiting your saturated fat can help lower your risk of having a heart attack or stroke according to the American Diabetes Association. Unhealthy fats cause a buildup of excess fat in the cells of the body causing insulin resistance.
Fat build-up inside muscle, liver, and pancreas cells creates toxic fatty breakdown products and free radicals that ‘block’ the insulin-signaling process, close the ‘glucose gate,’ and make blood sugar levels rise. Saturated fats have been associated with heart disease and diabetes, per an NIH study.
Trans Fats. Avoid trans fats found in processed snacks, baked goods, shortening and stick margarine. Trans fats is a strong dietary risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Studies, like this NIH study, have shown even small amounts of trans fats increases risk. Trans fats also reduce insulin sensitivity, leading to higher insulin and glucose levels, and diabetes. Trans fats were banned in the U. S. by the FDA in 2015. So, trans fats are no longer a major concern due to their banning.
Cholesterol. Cholesterol is important to overall health, but when levels are too high, cholesterol can be harmful by contributing to narrowed or blocked arteries. Unfortunately, people with diabetes are more prone to having unhealthy high cholesterol levels, which contributes to cardiovascular disease according to the American Heart Association (AHA). Cholesterol sources include high-fat dairy products and high-fat animal proteins, egg yolks, liver, and other organ meats. Examples of high-fat are animal proteins, eggs, and dairy as in conventional grain-fed or corn-fed meats and poultry and dairy cows, which we’ll cover shortly. Diabetes is directly negatively affected by high fat-high cholesterol diet. Aim for no more than 200 milligrams (mg) of cholesterol a day.
Caged Eggs. Truth be told, the research has been totally confusing about eggs and diabetes. While a few studies have suggested that dietary cholesterol in eggs might increase the risk for diabetes, others show that eating eggs actually improves sensitivity to insulin, which protects against diabetes.
It doesn’t have to be confusing. Improving insulin sensitivity is more likely the truer picture, unless you’re eating “caged” or housed white eggs, which are depleted of healthy polyunsaturated fats like omega 3 fatty acids, and higher in saturated omega 6 fatty acids.
According to a 2019 Animals (Basel) study reviewed by the NIH, omega-3 fatty acids have anti-inflammatory or inflammation-reducing properties because they can reduce the liberation of cytokines, whereas, omega-6 fatty acids at high levels are associated with an increased prevalence of severe conditions, such as depression and heart disease.
Caged eggs containing more Omega 6s than omega 3s, will increase inflammation,weight gain, and cholesterol. In this study, the NIH said that the increase in ratio of omega 6 fatty acids to omega 3 fatty acids in the last few decades, is directly related to the increase in inflammatory diseases like non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, cardiovascular disease, obesity, inflammatory bowel disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and Alzheimer’s disease.
Processed Meats. Processed red meat is especially bad for your health. It is believed and backed up by research, that the preservatives, additives and chemicals such as nitrites, nitrates, and sodium, that are added to the meat during manufacturing can harm your pancreas which is the organ that produces insulin, and increase insulin resistance.
In one study, researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) have found that eating processed meat, was associated with a 42 percent higher risk of heart disease and a 19 percent higher risk of type 2 diabetes. Processed meat was defined as any meat preserved by smoking, curing or salting, or with the addition of chemical preservatives; examples include bacon, salami, sausages, hot dogs or processed deli or luncheon meats. The American Diabetes Association in this study said the following:
Our data indicate that higher consumption of total red meat, especially various processed meats, may increase risk of developing type 2 diabetes in women.
A 2014 Lancet (NIH) study found that cutting back on eating packaged and processed foods that are high in vegetable oils, refined grains and additives may help reduce the risk of diabetes. A 2016 Cornell University study found that a “whole food natural” approach of high consumption of coffee, whole grains, fruits and vegetables, and raw nuts are each independently associated with the reduced risk of type 2 diabetes in high risk, glucose intolerant individuals. Another 2016 Public Health Nutrition study reviewed by NIH found that poor-quality diets that were high in processed foods increased the risk of diabetes by 30 percent. However, including nutritious whole foods helped reduce this risk.
Conventional Corn-Fed Feedlot Meats. Industrial factory-farmed livestock (feedlots or housed) has been forced, trained, genetically engineered, or whatever euphemism the industry chooses to use, to feast on corn, soy and other grains, in addition to a repulsive mixture of other unhealthy chemicals, hormones, antibiotics and liquid-solutions.
These industry-standard food animals include cattle, sheep, pigs, chickens, turkeys, and ducks. Growth promoters including hormonal substances and antibiotics are used legally and illegally in food producing animals for the growth promotion of livestock animals according to Toxicol Residual study reviewed by the NIH, and are critical risk factors effecting human health.
Nutritionally deprived of healthy, polyunsaturated omega 3 fatty acids, which is only available from eating natural grass, these food animals are also forced to live in crowded feedlots, in unsanitary conditions, stressing the animals out, causing them to be unhealthy and less resistant to infections and the spread of disease.
Although feedlot animal meats do contain some omega 6s, there’s not any healthy balance of omega 3s to 6s, because omega 3s are lower or even non-existent, making the meats less lean, causing weight gain (belly fat), inflammation, and insulin resistant, according to a 2016 Nutrients study reviewed by the NIH. the study found total fat and saturated fat intake as a percentage of total calories has continuously decreased in Western diets, while the intake of omega-6 fatty acid increased and the omega-3 fatty acid decreased, resulting in a large increase in the omega-6/omega-3 ratio from 1:1 during evolution to 20:1 today or even higher.
This change in the composition of fatty acids parallels a significant increase in the prevalence of overweight and obesity. And, because of these unsanitary conditions in feedlots, are routinely given antibiotics, which causes the development unhealthy antibiotic-resistant bacteria in the meats, as well. A T H Chan Harvard Medical study recommended that a great source of monounsaturated omega 3 fatty acids is some animal fat, especially naturally grass-fed meats, and not conventional corn or grain-fed meats.
According to this Mayo Clinic study on Grass-Fed beef, you should NOT be eating corn or grain-fed meats, but should be eating grass-fed meats. Enough said.
Housed Dairy Cattle Products. The same applies to dairy cows. Most milk sold in America today comes from cows that have been fed corn or grains. It cheaply fattens the animals up, but because cows’ multi-compartmented stomachs can’t properly digest corn, it also makes them more susceptible to E. coli, a pathogenic bacteria that can spread to humans. A 1999 Applied and Environmental Microbiology reviewed by the NIH reported that cattle fed grain diets have large numbers of acid-resistant total generic E. coli organisms in their feces, while cattle fed hay diets do not, which suggest that feeding cattle grass or hay diets would reduce the risk of food-borne E. coli infections for humans.
Milk from conventionally raised dairy cows are higher in inflammation-causing omega 6 fatty acids and lower in healthy inflammation-fighting omega 3 fatty acids. Studies, like a 2010 Nutrition Journal study reviewed by the NIH, suggest that grass-based diets elevate precursors for Vitamin A and E, as well as cancer fighting antioxidants such as glutathione (GT) and superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity as compared to grain-fed contemporaries.
Fat conscious consumers will also prefer the overall lower fat content of a grass-fed beef product. Milk from housed-dairy cattle are also lower in beta carotene and other essential vitamins and minerals.
Pasture feeding has been demonstrated to have a positive impact on the nutrient profile of milk, increasing the content of some beneficial nutrients such as Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, vaccenic acid, and conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), while reducing the levels of Omega-6 fatty acids and palmitic acid, determined a 2019 Foods study reviewed by the NIH. Quoting the study,
These resultant alterations to the nutritional profile of “Grass-Fed” milk resonate with consumers that desire healthy, “natural”, and sustainable dairy products.
In this study, the Diabetes Council had this to say about the best form of milk to drink for diabetes:
choose full-fat milks that come from grass-fed animals (so you don’t get a not-so-nice dose of antibiotics and hormones in your milk) and that are preferably raw (unpasteurized). The next best choice would be full-fat, grass-fed milk.
It’s simple, if it doesn’t say organic grass-fed on the label, don’t buy it.
Farmed-Raised Wild Fish and Seafood. In people with diabetes, inflammation-reducing omega-3s found in wild-caught fish can lower the risk of heart disease, raise HDL good cholesterol, and improve triglyceride levels, and prevent diabetes, found a 2018 Journal of Clinical Medical Research reviewed by the NIH.
Research, such a this Berkeley California Agriculture study reviewed by the NIH, has proven time again that omega 3s reduce inflammation and improves metabolic health, thus may play a role in lowering the risk of arthritis, cancer, and chronic diseases. Farmed fish are raised in controlled conditions, in pens with water and other fish, and fed pellets of food, and thus, void of healthy polyunsaturated omega 3s, and higher in less-healthy inflammation-causing omega 6s. The result of eating omega 6s is weight gain usually around the stomach area, high inflammation, and insulin resistance. Research done by Cleveland Clinic confirms eating farm-raised wild fish is not as safe, or healthy, as eating natural, wild-caught fish.
The American diet already contain high amounts of omega 6s from many food sources, so there’s really no advantage to eating farm-raised fish. What the American diet is missing is healthy omega 3s, which farm-raised fish are deficient in.
Farm-raised fish may have as much as 20 percent less protein compared to wild-caught fish, and besides a small fillet of wild salmon has 131 fewer calories and also has 20.5 percent more saturated fat content, half the fat content of the same amount of farmed salmon, as well.
Studies have also shown that farmed fish have 10 times the amount of PCBs (poly chlorinated biphenyls, a toxic chemical) and dioxin that wild fish do, plus other contaminants according to research such as an EWG study, a Mayo Clinic review study, and an NIH review.
Then you have the problem of crowded conditions in which farm raised fish are raised, they are routinely treated with antibiotics to help prevent infection, and, again, as in feedlot meats, the development of dangerous antibiotic-resistant bacteria in humans, as confirmed by a New York Medical College study, reported these findings in the July issue of Environmental Microbiology.
Lack of exercise. Exercise increases the insulin sensitivity of your cells. So when you exercise, less insulin is required to keep your blood sugar levels under control. One 2014 Journal of Endocrinology Metabolism study in people with prediabetes found that moderate-intensity exercise increased insulin sensitivity by 51 percent and high-intensity exercise increased it by 85 percent.
However, this effect only occurred on workout days. Just 30-minutes of moderate exercise a day is also beneficial and recommended by the Department Of Health and Human Services, even 2-15-minute periods of physical activity will work. Many types of physical activity have been shown to reduce insulin resistance and blood sugar in overweight, obese and prediabetic adults.
These include aerobic exercise, high-intensity interval training and strength training. A 2014 American Geriatric Society confirmed by the NIH that obesity and insulin resistance decrease with exercise and weight loss, suggesting that exercise training is a necessary component of lifestyle modification in obese postmenopausal women.
According to a 2012 Journal of Gerontology study, reviewed by NIH, a 12-week resistance exercise program improves muscle strength and muscle function to a similar extent in healthy, prediabetic, and Type 2 diabetes elderly people. Two weeks of HIIT (high-intensity interval training) and GFatmax training are effective for the improvement of aerobic fitness during exercise in these classes of obesity.
The decreased levels of resting fatty-acids only in GFatmax may be involved in the decreased insulin resistance only in this group, found a obesity study out of Switzerland confirmed by the NIH. A couple of choices for a healthy diet are the Mediterranean diet and a heart-healthy diet. Even if you’ve already developed diabetes, it’s not too late to make a positive change. The bottom line is that you have more control over your health than you may think.
Types Of Nutrient-Dense Foods to Eat For Diabetes
Taking steps to prevent or control diabetes doesn’t mean living in deprivation; it means eating a tasty, balanced nutrient-dense diet that will also boost your energy and improve your mood. You don’t have to give up sweets entirely or resign yourself to a lifetime of bland food. With the healthy recommendations we’ll cover, you can still take pleasure from your meals without feeling hungry or deprived.
Whether you’re trying to prevent or control diabetes, your nutritional needs are virtually the same as everyone else, so no special foods are necessary. But you do need to pay attention to some of your food choices, most notably the types of carbohydrates you eat.
Human cells use converted glucose obtained from food, particularly carbohydrates, for energy. The glucose ends up in the bloodstream and there are mechanisms that keep it in balance, preventing glucose levels from getting too low or spiking to high. Any rise in blood sugar signals the pancreas to make and release the hormone insulin.
Insulin serves the purpose of instructing cells which require glucose, to absorb the glucose. Diabetes occurs when the body can’t make enough insulin or can’t properly use the insulin it makes.
Having type 2 diabetes means that your body doesn’t control blood glucose well. When blood glucose stays too high for too long, serious health problems can develop. Type 1 diabetes, affecting 5 percent to 10 percent of those diagnosed with diabetes, occurs when the body’s immune system attacks the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas, stopping the production of insulin.
Type 2 diabetes is more stealthy, coming on gradually, sometimes taking years to develop into diagnoisable diabetes. It starts when cells resist absorbing glucose, which then remains in the bloodstream. The body’s mechanism continues to produce insulin, almost uncontrollable, trying to force cells to absorb glucose, and eventually, the insulin-producing cells become exhausted and fail, and that’s when full-blown type 2 diabetes occurs.
When we consistently take in large amounts of calories, our body has mechanisms to process all of this material, which works well in the short term but over the long haul can reduce insulin sensitivity and eventually wear out our insulin-making cells,
says Scott Keatley, a registered dietitian with Keatley Medical Nutrition Therapy in New York.
By having a diet in balance, we can avoid many of these long-term issues.
Pre-diabetes occurs when blood-sugar levels get high, but is still correctable and reversible at this stage by changing diet, getting exercise, and loosing weight. Typically blood-glucose levels return to normal if the above activities occur.
A study of 101 men with pre-diabetes was given a self-administered diabetes prevention program over a 6-month period by reducing their portion size of potato and meat and improve their variety of health foods. Loosing an average of 12 pounds and registering better blood sugar levels, they were able to reduce the proportion of energy coming from junk food by 7.6 percent more than the group who didn’t change their diet and got a four-point increase in their scores.
In women, behavioral and lifestyle changes, correcting issues such as excess weight, lack of exercise, a less-than-healthy diet, smoking, and abstaining from alcohol, are at least 90 percent effective in preventing type 2 diabetes, according to data from Nurses’ Health Study.
Similar results occurred in men, as well. A follow-up NIH Health Professional study showed the typical American diet, combined with lack of physical activity and excess weight, dramatically increases the risk of type 2 diabetes in men. Information from several clinical trials strongly supports the idea that type 2 diabetes is preventable in both men and women found a 2006 New England Journal of Medicine reviewed by the NIH. In the group study assigned to weight loss and exercise, there were 58 percent fewer cases of diabetes after almost three years than in the group assigned to usual care.
Even after the program to promote lifestyle changes ended, the benefits continues,
and the risk of diabetes was reduced, albeit to a lesser degree, over 10 year period. Quoting the study:
In conclusion, favouring plant and egg products appeared to be beneficial in preventing T2D.
These types of results were also confirmed in a Finnish and Chinese study. One study published in the Chinese Medical Journal (NIH) found that present studies have shown that conversion rate from prediabetes to diabetes can be markedly decreased by effective interventions such as weight loss and exercise.
When it comes to food choices, the trick is balancing the right protein, healthy carbohydrates and unsaturated fats, dietitians say, and is also confirmed in this NIH “Important Nutrients to Know: Proteins, Carbohydrates, and Fats” research. This combination helps you stay full longer without spiking your blood sugar too high. Balance also means watching both the quality and quantity of what you eat.
The American Diabetes Association advocates a plate that is half-filled with non starchy organic vegetables and fruit, a quarter-filled with lean animal and vegetable protein and a quarter-filled with healthy complex carbohydrates or whole grains. And, the more bright colors the fruits and veggies have the better!
Briefly, the types of healthy nutrient-dense foods (A) you should be eating, are the exact opposite of the foods we’ve listed in the Foods To Avoid For Diabetes category above. These nutrient-dense foods containing omega 3s, essential amino acids, anti-inflammatories, vitamins and minerals, and antioxidants, include:
Certified Organic Grass-Fed Finished Meats, (A) such as beef, bison, and wild game.
Certified Organic Free-Range Finished Meats, (A) such lamb and pork.
Wild-Caught Fish and Seafood, (A)such as salmon, halibut, tuna, sturgeon
Fresh Certified Organic Raw Nuts and Edible Flower Seeds (A)
Polyunsaturated Vegetable Oil, such as extra virgin olive oil, or avocado oil (A)
No-Sugar Drinks, Filtered water and healthy antioxidant drinks (A), such as infused water (made with fruit), 100 percent juice no sugar, low-fat 1 percent milk, coffee, green, black or herbal tea, recommended by the American Diabetes Association. (A)Natural fruit smoothies such as blueberry Maca smoothie is another great choice and very simple and easy to make and quite a “quick pick-me-upper” (A).
Water by far is the most healthy natural drink you can have! LADA ( latent autoimmune diabetes of adults) is a form of type 1 diabetes that occurs in people over 18 years of age. Unlike the acute symptoms seen with type 1 diabetes in childhood, LADA develops slowly, requiring more treatment as the disease progresses, according to a Diabetologia study reviewed by the NIH, and drinking filtered water, is the surest way to preventing being tempted into drinking sweet fruity drinks.
A large 2016 observational Journal of Endocrinology study looked at the diabetes risk of 2,800 people who consumed more than two servings of sugar-sweetened beverages per day had a 99 percent increased risk of developing LADA and a 20 percent increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes. By contrast, consuming water may provide benefits. A 2016 British Journal of Nutrition study confirmed by the NIH found that increased water consumption may lead to better blood sugar control and insulin response.
One 24-week 2015 American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (NIH) study showed that overweight adults who replaced diet sodas with water while following a weight loss program experienced a decrease in insulin resistance and lower fasting blood sugar and insulin levels. A Diabetologia study (NIH) reported that drinking coffee on a daily basis reduced the risk of type 2 diabetes by 8 to 54 percent, with the greatest effect generally seen in people with the highest consumption. One 2015 European Journal of Clinical Nutrition (NIH) significance of long-term habitual coffee drinking against preventing diabetes onset. The anti-inflammatory effect of several coffee components may be responsible for this protection.
Complex Carbohydrates (Whole Grains) and High-Fiber Foods.. Natural whole grains and sprouted grains are nutrient-dense foods high in micronutrients and plant polyphenols, such as buckwheat, maize, whole wheat, millet, oats, sorghrum, rye, quinoa, and Ezekiel’s bread (A). Ezekiel’s bread is made from a variety of sprouted grains.
Studies have shown sprouting also partially breaks down the starch, since the seed uses the energy in the starch to fuel the sprouting process according to an NIH review. For this reason, sprouted grains have slightly fewer carbohydrates, which is great for diabetes. Numerous studies in obese, elderly and prediabetic individuals have shown that it helps keep blood sugar and insulin levels low. Here are some examples:
European Journal of Nutrition study reviewed by NIH found insulin and triglyceride concentrations are influenced by dietary fiber-rich meals from oats, rye bran, and sugar beet fiber. In another Journal of Nutrition study (NIH) the digestive tract, soluble fiber and water form a gel that slows down the rate at which food is absorbed. This leads to a more gradual rise in blood sugar levels. Insoluble high fiber has also been linked to reductions in blood sugar levels and a decreased risk of diabetes, although exactly how it works is not clear, according to a Diabetes Care study confirmed by NIH.
Dietary fiber consumption, according to a 2008 Journal of Nutrition (NIH) study, contributes in a positive way to a number of unexpected metabolic effects independent from changes in body weight, which include improvement of insulin sensitivity, modulation of the secretion of certain gut hormones, and effects on various metabolic and inflammatory markers that are associated with the metabolic syndrome.
Antioxidant-Rich Herbs and Spices. A multitude of healthy antioxidant-rich herbs and spices. Examples like basil, turmeric, bay leaves, hot peppers, and oregano. (A) A 2017 Environmental Resources and Food Security Management study, MIT University, Skopje, Macedonia, compiled a list of herbs and spices beneficial for diabetes as follows: Cinnimon, fenugreek, ginger, turmeric, garlic, curry leaves, bitter melon, jambu fruit, aloe vera, and bael leaves.
Natural Fermented Foods. Healthy fermented foods such as kefir, sauerkraut, pickles, yogurt, kimchi, and goat cheese.(A) According to a 2018 Nutrients study reviewed by the NIH confirmed the health-promoting properties of fermented foods, such as anti-diabetic, anti-inflammation, anticancer, antioxidant properties, improved cognitive function and gastrointestinal health, and the reduced presence of metabolic disorders.
All-Natural Peruvian Maca Supplement . Read also What Is In Maca Root? Use these links to learn all about this incredible all-natural organic whole-food nutrient-dense supplement and it’s ingredients. (A)
All the foods items recommended above are the main ingredients of the Mediterranean Diet.
According to the NIH, the Mediterranean Diet serves as a model for healthy functional foods capable of managing diabetes……
may be associated with enhanced anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, insulin sensitivity, and anti-cholesterol functions, which are considered integral to prevent and manage T2DM.
Now that you know what Foods To Avoid For Diabetes and also what exact nutrient-dense foods you should be eating, what are your thoughts? Any questions?
(A) Use these links for more in depth information and documented studies on benefits and to buy any of these incredible nutrient-dense foods that will be beneficial in preventing and treating various forms of diabetes. We hope the information on Foods To Avoid For Diabetes was helpful. Should you have any questions or comments, please leave them below.
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