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Nutrition , Weight loss

Essential food choices for controlling diabetes

Diabetes is a chronic disease that affects more and more people around the world. It is characterised by an increase in blood sugar levels, which can lead to serious health complications. However, it is possible to reduce the risks associated with diabetes by eating a balanced and appropriate diet.

Type 2 diabetes: What is it and what are the risk factors?

Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes, accounting for around 90% of cases.

It generally occurs in adults, but is becoming increasingly common in children and adolescents as a result of growing obesity. Risk factors for type 2 diabetes include obesity, physical inactivity, heredity and certain metabolic disorders.

Obesity: A close link with diabetes

Obesity is a major risk factor for the development of type 2 diabetes. Overweight people have a much higher risk of developing diabetes because excess body fat affects the way the body uses insulin. Insulin is a hormone that helps regulate blood sugar levels by allowing sugar to enter cells for use as an energy source.

How can diet help reduce the risk of diabetes in obese people?

A healthy, balanced diet is essential for reducing the risk of diabetes in obese people. Here are some important dietary tips to bear in mind:

  1. Reduce your intake of sugar and processed foods rich in added sugars: Sugary drinks, desserts and snacks can lead to a rapid rise in blood sugar levels. It’s best to limit them in your diet.
  2. Favour fibre-rich foods: Fibre-rich foods such as fruit, vegetables, pulses and wholegrain cereals can help regulate blood sugar levels by slowing down the absorption of sugars. They also promote satiety, which can be beneficial for weight management.
  3. Opt for healthy fats: Saturated and trans fats found in fried and processed foods can increase the risk of diabetes. It’s best to opt for the unsaturated fats found in avocados, nuts, seeds and vegetable oils.
  4. Portion control: Over-consumption of calories can contribute to weight gain and increase the risk of diabetes. It’s important to control portions and eat in moderation.

Physical inactivity: A sedentary lifestyle and the risk of diabetes

A sedentary lifestyle and physical inactivity are strongly linked to the development of type 2 diabetes. When we are physically active, our muscles use glucose as a source of energy, which helps maintain balanced blood sugar levels.

How can diet help reduce the risk of diabetes in inactive people?

A healthy diet combined with regular physical activity can help reduce the risk of diabetes in inactive people. Here are some important dietary tips:

  1. Eat balanced meals before exercise: If you’re planning to exercise, it’s important to eat balanced meals that provide your body with the energy it needs. Opt for meals rich in lean proteins, complex carbohydrates and vegetables.
  2. Favour pre-workout snacks: If you need a small snack before your exercise session, choose light, easily digestible foods. Options such as a handful of nuts or a piece of fruit can provide the energy you need without weighing down your stomach.
  3. Restore stores after exercise: After exercise, it’s important to replenish muscle glycogen stores by eating foods rich in carbohydrates and protein. A good option might be a fruit and yoghurt smoothie or a chicken salad with vegetables and quinoa.

Reducing the risk of diabetes through a proper diet is an essential approach to maintaining good health. By following a balanced diet rich in fibre, nutrients and low in added sugar, combined with regular physical activity, you can significantly reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Don’t forget to consult a healthcare professional for advice tailored to your individual situation.

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