Poor diet linked to over 70% of new type 2 diabetes cases globally

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Researchers from Tufts University have developed a model that sheds light on the devastating role poor diet plays in the incidence of type 2 diabetes globally.

According to the study, poor diet accounted for over 14.1 million new cases of type 2 diabetes in 2018, which is over 70% of new diagnoses.

The study considered 11 dietary factors and found that:

  • Insufficient intake of whole grains
  • Excessive consumption of refined rice and wheat
  • Overconsumption of processed meat

were the leading culprits contributing to the global spike in type 2 diabetes.

Demographics and Regional Trends

Interestingly, poor diet was more responsible for type 2 diabetes among men than women, among younger adults compared to older ones, and among urban residents compared to rural ones.

The highest incidence was observed in Central and Eastern Europe and Central Asia, notably in Poland and Russia, where diets are rich in processed and red meat.

High incidence rates were also found in Latin America and the Caribbean, especially in Colombia and Mexico, mainly due to high consumption of sugary drinks and low intake of whole grains.

How to Prevent Type 2 Diabetes Through Diet

Choose Whole Foods

Whole foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, and seeds are packed with nutrients and fiber, helping to prevent rapid blood sugar spikes.

Limit Refined Grains and Sugar

Foods like white bread and white rice can cause quick increases in blood sugar. Processed foods with added sugar can also spike blood sugar levels.

Opt for Healthy Fats

Avocados, fatty fish, nuts, and seeds contain fats that can improve insulin sensitivity.

Watch Portion Sizes

Overeating, even of healthy foods, can contribute to weight gain and diabetes risk.

Limit Processed and Red Meat

Foods like bacon, hot dogs, and red meat are linked to increased diabetes risk.

Stay Hydrated

Adequate water intake can help regulate blood sugar levels and prevent dehydration, which is a contributing factor to high blood sugar.

Implications for Policy and Healthcare

The research provides valuable data to clinicians, policymakers, and industry players in understanding and addressing this global health crisis effectively.

If you’re interested in managing diabetes, consider studies suggesting that pomace olive oil could lower cholesterol and honey could control blood sugar.

For kidney health, studies indicate that protecting kidneys from diabetes and drinking coffee could reduce the risk of kidney injury.

The study was published in the journal Nature Medicine and is crucial for global strategies aimed at tackling the diabetes epidemic.

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