Diabetes belongs to a group of diseases that affect how the body uses blood sugar (glucose). The second type of disease is the most common.
Type 2 diabetes occurs when the body cannot produce enough of the hormone insulin.
“Type 2 diabetes is hereditary, so the risk of developing it can be hereditary, but if you have type 2 diabetes, it is closely related to your lifestyle,” explains Dr. Paul McArdle, BSDA registered dietitian.
In fact, type 2 diabetes can be prevented in 60% to 90% of cases, as well as reversed in those already diagnosed, and this can happen within a few weeks or even a few months after making the right changes. .
It should be noted that diabetes can come back later, so lifestyle changes often need to be permanent.
Whether you have been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes or have been warned that you may be at risk and you just want to take precautions to prevent the disease, there are some lifestyle changes you need to make:
1. Switch to complex carbohydrates
Dr. Caitlin Hall, Chief Nutritionist and Chair of Clinical Research at Miyota, recommends switching to complex carbohydrates like whole grain bread, wholemeal pasta, and brown rice if you have type 2 diabetes or are at risk of developing it.
She explains that it’s smart to avoid simple carbohydrates like sweets, chocolate, soft drinks, white bread, and white rice. These are examples of simple carbohydrates that raise blood sugar levels and cause more insulin to be released.
She continued: “A quick burst of energy is followed by a crash. If you tend to eat a lot of sugary foods and refined carbohydrates throughout the day, you are likely experiencing both high and low blood glucose extremes. This can affect things like energy, sleep quality, hunger, appetite and exercise Short-term.”
However, in the long term, our body may become insulin resistant, or the pancreas will lose its ability to produce insulin. This is type 2 diabetes.
People with type 2 diabetes experience uncontrollably high blood sugar levels after eating a high carbohydrate meal.
“High blood sugar can damage organs and tissues over time, leading to a host of complications such as heart disease, kidney disease, nerve damage, and vision problems,” says Hall.
2. Avoid trans fats
According to Dr. Hall, it is best to avoid saturated and trans fats: “A diet rich in saturated and trans fats can lead to inflammation, which can contribute to insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. accumulation of fat in and around organs” such as the liver and pancreas, which can interfere with the organs’ ability to produce and respond to insulin.”
These fats are often found in fried foods, processed baked goods such as cakes and pastries, skinned meats, and high-fat dairy products such as cream and butter.
3. Focus on fiber
“Foods high in prebiotic fiber can play a big role in reducing and reversing the risk of developing type 2 diabetes,” says Dr. Hall.
“Fiber absorbs water in the intestines and delays emptying, which in turn slows the absorption of sugar into the bloodstream and prevents a sudden spike in blood sugar levels,” she adds.
She recommends oats, barley, chicory, onions, asparagus, artichokes, beans, and parsnips, which are good sources of vital fiber.
Dr. Hall also adds that prebiotic fiber is a great fuel for the good bacteria in our gut, also known as the gut microbiome. “Proper nutrition of the microbiome increases the production of short-chain fatty acid molecules (SCFAs), which help reduce the risk of diabetes,” she explains.
4. Move over
You don’t need to exercise intensely, but studies have shown that exercise helps prevent and possibly reverse type 2 diabetes as it can help improve insulin sensitivity.
Try to incorporate more movement into your day by walking if possible, replacing the elevator with stairs, and adding weights.
5. Follow the Mediterranean Diet
“Following the Mediterranean diet has strong evidence for reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes,” says Dr. McArdle. “It’s a diet that includes lots of vegetables, salads, and fruits, very few processed foods, and less red and red.” processed meats, says Dr. McArdle, in exchange for more fish, shifting to olive oil as the main source of dietary fat, and cutting back on sugar-rich foods.
6. Lose weight
Dr. McArdle says, “The best way to reduce type 2 diabetes is to lose weight if you’re overweight or obese. Studies show that losing as little as 5kg can help, but losing as little as 15kg is more likely to stop the development of diabetes.” Type 2 is in remission in many obese patients, especially if the weight is reduced as soon as possible after diagnosis.
He adds that a variety of dietary weight loss approaches, supported by a healthcare professional, can help treat type 2 diabetes. “The first is to follow a very low-calorie diet (about 850 calories) for about 12 weeks,” he said.
Two other diets can lead to remission (no disease activity in a patient with a chronic, incurable disease): the Mediterranean diet and the low-carbohydrate diet.
“Using low-calorie or no-calorie sweeteners can help maintain a low-carb diet that would otherwise be difficult to follow.”
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