KEEPING a healthy diet is one of the best ways to take care of your health, especially if you have diabetes.
Diabetics need to pay close attention to their diet to ensure they don’t consume too much sugar.
Making sure you eat a balanced diet is a great way to control your weight, as obesity is one of the biggest risks when it comes to diabetes.
Obesity is believed to account for 80-85% of the risk of developing type 2 diabetes and this is usually due to the fact that obesity leads to increased levels of fatty acids and inflammation.
This can lead to insulin resistance which, in turn, can lead to type 2 diabetes.
With type 1 diabetes, a person’s pancreas does not produce insulin.
In type 2, the body’s cells become resistant to insulin, so more of it is needed to keep blood sugar levels within a normal range.
The NHS has also launched various campaigns to help people lose weight to prevent them from developing diabetes.
Speaking to Dr Alona Pulde of The Sun Lifesum, she revealed three healthy food swaps you can do to lower your risk of diabetes.
1. Replace snacks
Having a little of what you crave once in a while is okay, but if your diet is high in highly processed foods, it might be time to mix things up.
Dr. Pulde explained that replacing highly processed snacks loaded with fat, sugar and salt with healthy, nutrient-dense options is one of the best ways to reduce your risk of diabetes.
“Try veggies and dips like guacamole or hummus, veggie sushi, roasted edamame or chickpeas, or air-popped popcorn,” she added.
2. Choose whole grains
Eating whole grains is great for our overall diet because compared to white carbs like white bread and pasta, whole grains help us stay full longer and also play an important role in increasing our dietary fiber.
Dr Pulde said: “Choose fiber-rich whole grains over nutrient-depleted refined grains.
“Fiber helps improve blood sugar and reduce the risk of diabetes.
“Try brown rice, whole-grain breads, lentil or bean pasta, and other grains like quinoa, millet, or amaranth.”
3. Swap the sodas
Many people consume soft drinks which are often loaded with extra sugars and caffeine.
Dr. Pulde said you should look to replace these and fruit juices that are high in sugar and devoid of any other nutrients.
“Instead, enjoy fruit-flavored water (still or carbonated), herbal tea, or fiber-rich smoothies containing whole fruits and vegetables,” she added.
Dr Pulde said it was particularly important for people with diabetes to watch their diet, as it is a disease that can progress to a debilitating and devastating illness.
That’s why it’s important to watch your diet, especially if you’re at risk of developing diabetes.
Some people are at higher risk for diabetes and if you are of South Asian (Indian, Pakistani or Bangladeshi), Black African or Afro-Caribbean descent, you are 2-4 times more likely to develop diabetes.
The older you get, the higher your risk of diabetes increases, and having a close relative with diabetes, such as a parent or sibling, also increases your risk.
Dr Pulde added that diabetes can increase your risk of heart disease and lead to poor circulation which can eventually lead to amputation of limbs, kidney failure which ultimately requires dialysis, deterioration of vision and even blindness, a increased risk of infections and more difficulty healing and sequel.
“Dietary change, especially to a plant-based and whole-foods diet (rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes), is the number one thing that can help prevent and even reverse diabetes,” she added.