What is the relation between diabetes and diet and why is it important to pay close attention to your nutrition.
It is the age old question: does it really matter what I eat? In reality, what you put into your body can have a significant impact on your overall heath. Such is the close relation between diabetes and diet because it can allow you to manage your diabetes, but – if you have not been diagnosed – changing the way you eat can actually help you prevent it.
Prevention of diabetes is not as complicated as it may sound. In fact, with the proper guidance from your primary care specialist you can design a healthcare and diet plan that will allow you to maintain healthy levels of glucose, cholesterol, blood pressure, etc.
When you pay close attention to your nutrition, however, the changes can be outstanding. Diabetes and diet are closely related because what we eat has a direct impact on your system. Whether we love carbs (who doesn’t really?) or we have a sweet tooth, our glucose levels change throughout the day.
In fact, our glucose levels can suffer an increase if we are under a lot of stress or if we are not able to sleep well. So, managing what we eat can be a great start on the prevention of diabetes, but also a magnificent tool for management of the disease.
If you are wondering what causes diabetes type 2, the answer may actually surprise you. The two main causes are genetics and your lifestyle.
By genetics it means that it can be hereditary, and – if your father or mother has had it – it makes you have a greater chance of developing it. But when it comes to your lifestyle, this is where diabetes and diet play an important joint role.
As mentioned above, the choices that you make will have a direct impact on your whole system. If you are genetically predisposed or more susceptible, taking better care of your body is your best resource for the prevention of diabetes.
But, what causes diabetes type 2 exactly? Overweight and obesity, unhealthy meal planning and lack of exercise or physical activity.
While these are the primary risk factors, they are also the ones you can control and manage. Making even the smallest of changes can make a big difference in how your body performs.
For example, if you have diabetes or you carry the genetic mutation that may cause it, your primary care specialist will often recommitted that you see a nutritionist or dietitian to be able to elaborate a meal plan that will fit your needs.
This means that, you will start eating more balanced and wholesome ingredients that will help you maintain a healthy weight (or lose weight if considered necessary), but that it will have a direct impact on your cholesterol and glucose levels, your cardiovascular health, etc.
Developing a healthy diet will often consist on sticking to a 3-meals per day plan, with a few healthy snacks throughout the day, mostly of fiber rich foods, healthy carbs, good fats and lean proteins.
While this may sound complex, diabetes and diet really go hand in hand, and it is one of the few situations where you actually are what you eat.
Healthy carbs will allow your body to produce a moderate amount of glucose that will be used as energy instead of being stored (thus, raising your sugar levels), fiber rich foods will moderate your digestive system and allow for stable levels of glucose, and lean proteins will provide the nutrients your body needs and keep you satisfied longer.
Good fats and adding heart-healthy foods like fish and nuts will provide omega-3 acids and promote lower levels of cholesterol, as long as you are able to practice portion control.
Adding moderate exercise to your daily routine will also promote a healthier body; whether it is 10 minutes of a high-intensity training or a 30 minutes walk, keeping your activity levels up will allow for the management of your diabetes and – if you haven’t been diagnosed – it can actually help on its prevention.