Type 2 diabetes affects a growing number of people in New Zealand. It is a condition which is almost always preventable. In type 2 Diabetes the body is unable to regulate the blood sugar levels. When the blood sugar is high over a long period of time the consequences can be devastating. Prolonged high blood sugar levels cause damage to blood vessels which can lead to loss of sight and loss of limbs. Unfortunately many people dont realise just how much they can do to stop it occurring or how much they can do to help themselves when they are diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes.
Type 2 Diabetes is directly caused by a poor diet and sedentary lifestyle. As the diet of our nation (and many other nations) has deteriorated over the years the incidence of this form of Diabetes has increased. Years ago the condition only affected adults but now children are being diagnosed in growing numbers.
Generally the advice given to prevent or manage Type 2 Diabetes is not rigorous enough. Its a bit like telling someone who has cancer to cut down a bit on cigarettes; when research shows they really need to stop smoking entirely. If you want to really help yourself you will need to eat differently to most people around you.
Check what you are eating right now to see if you are at risk. Research has shown that many foods and drinks contribute to the risk and severity of Type 2 Diabetes. Soft drinks(both the sugary ones and the diet version) sugar, refined grains[1, 3, 4], refined processed meat. Also check ingredients of the labels avoid any that list sugar, corn syrup, and fructose.
On the positive side studies have shown many foods help to prevent type 2 Diabetes and if help the condition if you already have it. The foods you need to make a big part of your diet are vegetables, wholegrains, protein (esp. fish) beans, lentils [5, 7], olive oil, fish oils[5, 9].
There are a number of nutrients that research show we need to stabilise blood sugar levels these include Magnesium[10, 11], Glucose Tolerance Factor (GTF) Chromium, omega 3 PUFA, Vitamin D, Vitamin E[14, 15], these nutrients especially high in vegetables, nuts, seeds, wholegrains and fish.If supplements are used I recommend the Entire Katoa Food State supplements for the best absorption.
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10. Nielsen, F.H., et al., Dietary Magnesium Deficiency Induces Heart Rhythm Changes, Impairs Glucose Tolerance, and Decreases Serum Cholesterol in Post Menopausal Women. J Am Coll Nutr, 2007. 26(2): p. 121-132.
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14. Nakagawa, K., et al.,In Vivo Angiogenesis Is Suppressed by Unsaturated Vitamin E, Tocotrienol. J. Nutr., 2007. 137(8): p. 1938-1943.
15. Quilliot, D., et al., Diabetes mellitus worsens antioxidant status in patients with chronic pancreatitis. Am J Clin Nutr, 2005. 81(5): p. 1117-1125.