In a joint effort to combat the alarming rise in diabetes cases worldwide, the International Diabetes Federation and the World Health Organisation (WHO) joined forces in 1991 to establish World Diabetes Day. This annual event aims to raise awareness about the global diabetes epidemic and promote effective measures to prevent and manage this chronic disease.

By Nathi Mntungwa

The World Diabetes Day observed on 14 November every year, holds great significance as it seeks to raise awareness about the importance of providing widespread access to high-quality diabetes care for individuals across the globe.

Given the widespread impact of diabetes on millions of people globally, the theme for World Diabetes Day 2023 emphasises the pressing necessity to overcome obstacles that impede individuals from accessing adequate diabetes care. This year’s theme is centred on “Access to Diabetes Care.”

Diabetes is a chronic health condition that develops when the body is unable to regulate the levels of sugar in the blood effectively. Diabetes can be broken down into two primary subtypes: type 1 and type 2.

Type 2 diabetes occurs when the body becomes resistant to insulin or when the pancreas fails to produce enough of the hormone. This is often associated with lifestyle factors, such as being overweight, having an unhealthy diet, and not getting enough exercise.

Both forms of diabetes can result in high blood sugar levels. If not properly managed, this can lead to various severe health complications that can impact multiple organs and systems. When consumed in large quantities or as part of an unhealthy diet, certain foods can contribute to an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes. This is particularly true when the risk factors are combined.

Types of Food that can be Elevating Your Risk of Developing Diabetes:

Sugary Drinks

Individuals who frequently consume sugary beverages, such as soda and fruit juice, are at a higher risk of developing diabetes. As a healthier option, it is advisable to opt for water, unsweetened tea, or fruit-infused water.

White Flour and Refined Grain

Food products containing white flour and refined grains have a high glycemic (a rating system for foods containing carbohydrates) index, leading to rapid increases in blood sugar levels. Opt for whole-grain options such as brown rice, quinoa, or whole-grain bread to mitigate this effect.

Processed Meat

Bacon, sausages, and deli meats are typically high in sodium and preservatives, which can increase the risk of diabetes. Instead, opt for lean protein options such as skinless chicken, or fish to support your overall health.

French Fries and Potato Chips

French fries and potato chips are typically cooked in unhealthy oils, which can greatly raise the chances of developing type-2 diabetes. Instead, consider making your own sweet potato fries by baking them, or choose air-popped popcorn as a healthier snack option.

Sugary Breakfast Cereals

Many breakfast cereals contain high amounts of added sugars, which can cause spikes in blood sugar levels. Instead, consider selecting whole-grain cereals without added sugars or enjoy a bowl of oatmeal topped with fresh fruits and nuts for a healthier option.

Fried Foods

Foods that are fried, such as fried chicken or snacks, can lead to inflammation and insulin resistance, increasing the risk of diabetes. Instead, consider choosing baked or grilled options as a healthier alternative to help lower your risk of developing diabetes.

High-fat Dairy Products

Opt for low-fat or non-fat dairy options such as skim milk, yoghurt, or cottage cheese, as they are healthier choices compared to high-fat dairy products, which contain saturated fats that can elevate the risk of diabetes.

Foods High In Trans Fats

Foods that are rich in trans fats, commonly found in processed snacks, cookies, and margarine, can elevate the likelihood of developing diabetes and heart disease. It’s advisable to opt for trans-fat-free options or select healthier fats such as olive oil or avocado.

Artificially Sweetened Drinks

Even though they don’t have calories, artificial sweeteners can still raise the risk of diabetes and interfere with blood sugar regulation. Opt for sparkling water or herbal tea as a healthier, sugar-free option.

High-sugar Desserts

Indulging in high-sugar desserts like cakes, cookies, and pastries can increase the risk of diabetes due to their refined sugars and unhealthy fats. Consider making homemade desserts using natural sweeteners such as dates, maple syrup, or fruits for a healthier option.

It is important to remember that moderation is important when it comes to maintaining a healthy diet. Including a variety of whole foods, lean proteins, and plenty of fruits and vegetables is crucial for lowering the risk of diabetes.

Please note that the information provided here is general in nature and should not be considered a replacement for professional medical advice. It is always best to consult with a specialist or your doctor for personalised information.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *