How to eat to reverse and prevent diabetes (5 foods to eat and 6 to avoid). Diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death in the US and doubles the risk of heart attack and stroke .
In addition, it has an enormous cost in health, since it accelerates aging; it damages the kidneys, cardiovascular system, eyes and nervous tissue, and increases the risk of cancer.
However, type 2 diabetes is a lifestyle-related disease – our food choices can prevent or promote insulin resistance and lead to diabetes.
Prevention is possible speaks of devastating complications and premature deaths associated with diabetes. The main cause of increases in obesity and diabetes is a diet without nutrients.
New research has shown that what mothers have been telling their children for so many years was always true: “eat your vegetables, they are good for you.”
Learn what things you can eat to prevent diabetes and what are the best foods to eat if you already have diabetes.
5 best foods to reverse and prevent diabetes
Many conventional diabetes diets rely on meat or grains as the main source of calories. However, these foods have serious drawbacks.
Foods rich in nutrients and with a low glycemic load (GL) are the optimal foods for diabetics. And these foods also help prevent diabetes in the first place.
1. Green vegetables
Nutrient-dense green vegetables ( leafy greens, cruciferous vegetables , and other green vegetables) are the most important foods in the prevention and reversal of diabetes .
Having a higher intake of green vegetables is associated with a lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes, and among diabetics, a higher intake of green vegetables is associated with lower levels of HbA1c .
2. Non-starchy vegetables
Non-green, non-starchy vegetables such as mushrooms , onions, garlic , eggplants, bell peppers, etc., are essential components of a diabetes prevention (or reversal) diet .
These foods have almost non-existent effects on blood glucose and also contain tons of fiber and phytochemicals.
Lentils, beans, and other legumes are an ideal source of carbohydrates .
These have a low glycemic load due to their moderate levels of protein and abundant fiber and resistant starch, which are carbohydrates that are not broken down in the small intestine.
This reduces the number of calories in the beans; In addition, resistant starch undergoes a fermentation of bacteria in the colon, forming substances that protect against colon cancer.
Consequently, the consumption of beans and legumes is associated with a lower risk of diabetes and colon cancer .
4. Nuts and seeds
Since they are low in glycemic load, nuts and seeds promote weight loss and have anti- inflammatory effects that can prevent the development of insulin resistance.
The Nurse’s Health Study found a 27% decreased risk of diabetes in nurses who ate five or more servings of nuts per week .
Among nurses who already had diabetes, this same amount of nuts lowered the risk of heart disease by 47% .
5. Fresh fruit
Fruits are rich in fiber and antioxidants , and are also an excellent nutrient- dense option for satisfying sweet cravings.
Eating three servings of fresh fruit each day is associated with an 18% decreased risk of diabetes.
For those who are already diabetic, it is best to keep the consumption of fruits to those that are low in sugar such as berries, kiwi, oranges and melon to minimize the glycemic effects.
The 6 worst foods for diabetics and to prevent diabetes
The worst foods for people with diabetes – those that raise blood sugar, reduce insulin sensitivity, and increase the risk of type 2 diabetes – are the foods that are most common in the standard American diet.
1. Added sugars
Diabetes is characterized by causing elevated levels of glucose in the blood. Therefore, it is advisable that you avoid foods that can cause dangerously high spikes in blood glucose. Mainly refined and processed foods, such as sugary drinks .
Fruit juices and sugary foods and desserts have similar effects. These foods promote hyperglycemia and insulin resistance. They also promote the formation of advanced glycation end products (AGEs) in the body.
EFAs disrupt the normal and healthy function of cellular proteins, stiffen blood vessels, accelerate aging, and promote diabetes complications.
2. Refined grains (white rice and white flour products)
Carbohydrates like white rice, white pasta, and white bread lack the fiber found in the original grain. Therefore, they raise blood glucose to higher levels and faster than raw grains.
In a six-year study of 65,000 women, those who had diets high in refined carbohydrates such as white bread, white rice, and pasta were 2.5 times more likely to be diagnosed with type 2 diabetes compared to those who ate foods with low glycemic load, such as 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%.
3. Fried foods
French fries, donuts, and other fried starches are high-glycemic foods that also pack a lot of low-nutrient calories.
On the other hand, like other cooked starches, fried foods contain AGEs.
4. Trans fats (margarine, shortening, fast food, processed baked goods)
Diabetes accelerates the development of cardiovascular disease. Because the vast majority of diabetics ( over 80%) die from cardiovascular disease , any food that increases cardiovascular risk can be really problematic for people with diabetes.
Trans fat intake is a very serious dietary risk factor when it comes to heart disease ; Even a small amount of trans fat consumption can significantly increase your risk.
In addition to cardiovascular effects, saturated fats and trans reduce insulin sensitivity, so that cause high levels of glucose and insulin and increased risk of diabetes.
5. Red and processed meats
At first glance, it may seem that the effects of diet on diabetes are only relevant for foods that contain carbohydrates. The more low-carb, high-protein foods in your diet, the better, as these foods do not directly raise blood glucose.
However, that is an overly simplistic view of the development of type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is not only driven by elevated glucose levels, but also by chronic inflammation , oxidative stress , and disturbances in circulating lipids (fats) .
Many diabetics come to believe that they should avoid consuming sugar and refined grains and other high-glycemic foods, and instead eat more animal protein to keep their blood glucose levels under control.
However, several studies have confirmed that a high consumption of meat can increase the risk of diabetes .
A meta-analysis of 12 studies concluded that a high intake of meat increased the risk of type 2 diabetes by 17% over a low intake, a high intake of red meat increased the risk by 21%, and a high intake of processed meat increased the risk. risk 41%.
Eating 5 eggs each week or more has been associated with an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes .
When it comes to heart disease, eggs still open up a controversial topic. However, for people with diabetes, there is really no controversy; There are clear links in many observational studies that prove the increased risk of diabetes when eggs are consumed.
Large prospective studies such as the Nurse’s Health Study, the Health Professionals Follow-up Study, and the Physicians’ Health Study reported that diabetics who eat more than one egg a day double their risk of cardiovascular disease or risk of death compared to diabetics who ate less than one egg per week.
Another study with people with diabetes reported that those who ate an egg a day or more had a five-fold increased risk of death from cardiovascular disease.