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With an estimated 29 million people living with diabetes in the United States, awareness of and education about the disease has increased over the years. Many people who are prediabetic, have family members with the illness, or are just health conscious want to know more about the use of foods to prevent diabetes and other diabetes prevention tips.
Today, diabetes has become the seventh leading cause of death. When the disease is undiagnosed or not well-controlled, it can lead to a variety of long-term and severe health complications including blindness, amputation, organ damage and failure and more. Because of the severity of this illness, it is crucial for men, women and children to learn how to avoid getting diabetes and take preventative steps against the disease. When it comes to dietary changes one can implement to prevent the disease, here are 10 foods to prevent diabetes broken down into three categories: meat, sugar and whole grains.
Countless studies and research over the past few years has raised the case that consuming red meat or processed meats can increase the risk of diabetes in people of all ages. One of the latest studies, title, Nurses’ Health Study I and II followed almost a half a million people who ate red meat. Over the period of the study, 28,000 people were diagnosed with diabetes. This data and other information from the study concluded that eating even just a serving of red meat each day that equaled the size of a deck of cards increased one’s risk by over 50 percent. If you want to know how to avoid getting diabetes, here are four food options to substitute for red meat:
- Nuts and seeds
Consider fish or poultry in place of meat, or make a meatless meal by getting creative with beans, nuts and seeds.
Drinks such as soda, fruit juices, fruit punch, or premade sweetened ice teas are not only loaded with sugar, but they are known to cause weight gain which can ultimately lead to diabetes. By switching these types of drinks out for the following three choices, you can potentially decrease your diabetes risk:
- And even coffee!
Water is beneficial to the body in so many ways and a great substitute for those wanting to know how to avoid getting diabetes. If plain water does not interest you at all, consider adding lemon or lime juice to it, or let berries, cucumbers and mint soak in a pitcher filled with water overnight. Try different variations of fruit and herbs and you may become a water drinker before you know it!
There is an abundance of evidence that whole grains not only protect the heart but also can decrease risk of diabetes. To take advantage of these benefits, stop eating foods that are processed, with white bleached flour . The Nurses’ Health Study mentioned above found women have a 30 percent decrease risk in getting diabetes from eating just two servings of whole grains a day. Here are three options to substitute processed carbohydrates:
- Whole grains and whole grain products (think bread, pasta, etc.)
- Brown rice instead of white rice
- Other healthy grains such as Quinoa, Millet and Amaranth