We already know how packaged and processed foods may lead to weight gain but it comes as a surprise that they may also increase the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. Reason? Food Additives. The presence of a chemical compound called nitrites in food additives is to be blamed. Most processed foods like ham, sausages, cereals and ready-to-eat meals have nitrites, which are added to enhance taste, extend shelf life and to avoid bacterial growth. A recent study published in PLoS Medicine claims that these nitrites affect the ability of pancreas produce or utilise insulin to convert the sugars from our food into energy, which leads to high blood sugar level.
The researchers took into account the dietary habits of 104,000 adults with no history of type 2 diabetes. It was found that Individuals with large doses of nitrites in their diet were 53 per cent more likely to develop Type 2 diabetes.
The experts revealed that healthy whole foods and leafy greens contain some amount of nitrites but posed little risk for diabetes in the trial. It is worth mentioning here that processed meats like ham and sausage were found to be the biggest sources of nitrites from food additives, followed by ready-to-eat meals.
“Our findings suggest a direct association between additives-originated nitrites and T2D risk, and corroborate previously suggested associations between total dietary nitrites and T2D risk,” said the study author.
Now that it is established that processed foods should be avoided, let’s look at other measures one can take to prevent diabetes. Our consultant nutritionist Rupali Datta shared the following tips.
Here are some diet tips to prevent diabetes:
1. Lose Weight
Rupali Datta says, “Obesity increases the risk of diabetes 20 times. In fact, even if you lose 7-10% of your weight, the risk of developing diabetes can be reduced by 50%.”
Also Read: 5 Healthy Diets That Anyone Wanting To Lose Weight Must Try
2. Eat Whole Grains
Replacing refined grains with whole grains can play a significant role in preventing diabetes. A Nurses Health study found that participants who consumed 2-3 whole grains servings every day reduced their risk of developing diabetes by 30%.
Also Read: Why Whole Grains Are Good For You? 7 Benefits To Look Out For!
3. Avoid Sugar
Studies have shown that sugary drinks like sodas, fruit juice and iced tea increase the risk of diabetes by 32% if consumed daily.
Diabetes can be prevented and managed by a healthy diet. Make your food choices wisely.
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