Did you know that diabetes is related to eating habits and lifestyle?Diabetes is a major public health problem. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), one out of every 11 individual has diabetes and an estimated 1.5 million people die of diabetes each year. According to the Turkish Epidemiology Survey of Diabetes, Hypertension, Obesity, and Endocrine Disease (TURDEP-II), the ratio of individuals with diabetes in Turkey is higher than the global diabetes ratio.
Diabetes, also called as type 2 diabetes, may develop in middle age related to several reasons. The most significant factors include genetic predisposition, smoking, unbalanced and inadequate nutrition, insufficient physical activity, excess body weight, obesity, and stress. Besides genetic predisposition, nutrition and lifestyle are key risk factors for diabetes.
A study of 200,000 people conducted at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in the United States offers important information about the possible relationship between nutrition and the risk of diabetes.
Results showed that the risk of developing type 2 diabetes was 20% lower in individuals who frequently prefer plant-based foods as compared with those who does not. It was reported that an adequate, balanced diet that limits animal-based foods and a encourages plant-based foods -- especially vegetables and fruits -- may reduce the risk of diabetes. It was reported that the risk is 34% lower in individuals who eat a balanced diet of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds (walnuts, hazelnuts, almonds, peanuts, and so on), and whole grains. Diabetes was reported to be 16% higher in individuals whose nutrition is unbalanced and inadequate as compared to people with a balanced diet.
What should we pay attention to in our diet and lifestyle to reduce the risk of diabetes?
• Try to consume variety of food groups with a healthy eating plate at all meals, including breakfast.
• As a healthy eating plate is to be divided into four, the first part should consist of meat, fish, chicken, eggs. The second part should be milk and dairy products; the third part is whole grains, bread, rice, bulgur, or pasta; the fourth part vegetables and fruits.
• If your family has a history of cardiovascular disease, high blood cholesterol, or hypertension, you may consider preferring reduced-fat milk and dairy products.
• Estimating your daily energy needs based on your age, sex, height, body weight, and physical activity level, can help you to adjust your total food consumption to the amount of energy you take in and expend.
• Pay attention to your salty and sugary foods consumption.
• Be sure to drink enough water and other liquids. You should drink at least 6-8 glasses of water a day.
• Increase your physical activity and exercise regularly as a part of your lifestyle.
• Republic of Turkey, Ministry of Health, National Diabetes Program 2015-2020 http://diyabet.gov.tr/content/files/guncel/turkiye_diyabet_programi.pdf
• The data are in: Eat right, reduce your risk of diabetes. Harvard Health Publications. http://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/the-data-are-in-eat-right-avoid-diabetes-2017010510936