Diabetes is a lifelong condition where the body’s blood glucose levels remain high due to insulin resistance. Insulin, the hormone responsible for using glucose for energy, becomes ineffective. Experts believe that consuming certain foods with chronic high blood sugar levels can hinder insulin’s proper function, potentially leading to diabetes. To reduce the risk of developing this chronic condition, it’s essential to avoid specific eating mistakes associated with diabetes.
Health Shots got in touch with Nupuur Patil, nutritionist and dietician based in Mumbai and UAE, to understand which diabetes eating mistakes one should be aware of.
Diet mistakes that can cause diabetes
Here are 7 eating habits that you should avoid to reduce your risk of developing diabetes:
1. High sugar and processed food intake
Consuming excessive sugary foods and beverages, including processed or packaged foods with added sugars, leads to rapid spikes in blood glucose levels. Regularly indulging in sugary treats such as candies, sodas, pastries, and sugary cereals can strain the body’s ability to regulate insulin effectively, potentially leading to insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes.
2. Unhealthy carbohydrate choices
Refined carbohydrates such as white bread, white rice, pastries and processed snacks are stripped of essential nutrients and fiber and are quickly broken down into glucose, causing a sharp increase in blood sugar levels. Patil says, “These foods can lead to weight gain and insulin resistance, contributing to the onset of diabetes. Opting for complex carbohydrates like whole grains (like brown rice, quinoa) can help stabilize blood sugar levels and reduce the risk of insulin resistance.”
3. Lack of fiber
A diet low in fiber can affect blood sugar levels and insulin sensitivity. Fiber-rich foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes help slow down the absorption of glucose and promote better blood sugar control.
4. Overeating and obesity
Consistently overeating, especially when coupled with the wrong food choices, can lead to weight gain and obesity, which are major risk factors for type 2 diabetes. Obesity can cause insulin resistance and negatively impact the body’s ability to use insulin effectively.
In addition to avoiding these eating habits and mistakes, it’s beneficial to have smaller, frequent meals throughout the day. According to Patil, “Mindful eating can help control sudden blood sugar levels, provide more sustained energy, and increase metabolism, aiding in weight management and reducing the risk of diabetes.”
5. Skipping breakfast
Skipping breakfast is a common mistake that can have serious implications for diabetes risk. A well-balanced breakfast kickstarts the metabolism and helps regulate blood sugar levels throughout the day. Failing to eat breakfast can lead to overeating during later meals and may disrupt insulin sensitivity over time.
6. High-fat diets
Diets high in trans and saturated fats can impair insulin sensitivity and promote inflammation within the body. These unhealthy fats are often found in processed and fried foods. Replacing these fats with healthier options like monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats found in olive oil, avocados, and nuts can have a positive impact on diabetes risk.
7. Excessive alcohol consumption
Patil says, “Drinking alcohol in large quantities can hamper your weight management and also affect blood sugar levels, potentially increasing the risk of type 2 diabetes.”
Apart from avoiding these unhealthy eating habits, do not ignore a daily workout to stay in shape and avoid chronic diseases like diabetes!