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Good nutrition can help beat type 2 diabetes

Aspects Of The Mediterranean Diet
Aspects Of The Mediterranean Diet
Photo by David Silverman/Getty Images

The evidence is in that good nutrition appears to help prevent and control type 2 diabetes. There has been a surge of type 2 diabetes due to poor nutrition, sedentary lifestyles and the associated obesity epidemic over the years. An understanding of the value of good nutrition to help control this serious health problem is therefore very important. In recent years evidence has mounted in support of the vital significance of individual nutrients, foods, and dietary patterns to help prevent and manage type 2 diabetes reported The Lancet. It has been found that the quality of dietary fats and carbohydrates which are consumed is more significant than the quantity of these macronutrients.

The risk of diabetes and improved glycemic control is seen in diets which are rich in wholegrains, vegetables, fruits, legumes, and nuts, moderate in alcohol consumption, and low in refined grains, red or processed meats, and sugar-sweetened beverages. Specific foods and dietary patterns which are beneficial in the prevention and control of diabetes have been identified reports the Joslin Diabetes Center. Researchers from Joslin Diabetes Center and Harvard School of Public Health worked together on this study.

Osama Hamdy, M.D., Ph.D., Medical Director of Joslin’s Obesity Clinical Program and Assistant Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School says that nutrition can actually be used as a medicine in order to effectively prevent and control diabetes. The global epidemic of type 2 diabetes makes such an investment in effective diabetes prevention and management worthwhile. An unhealthy diet is clearly a primary contributor to the development of diabetes.

The researchers have found certain foods and dietary patterns can help prevent type 2 diabetes even in the absence of weight loss. There is a lower risk of developing diabetes in people who eat a Mediterranean diet even when they don't lose weight. A Mediterranean diet is rich in healthy foods such as olive oil, whole grains and leafy vegetables and fruits. There are other foods which are also associated with a decreased diabetes risk including oat cereal, yogurt and dairy products, green leafy vegetables, walnuts, grapes, apples, blueberries, and coffee

There is now clear evidence about what foods are best to eat to prevent diabetes and to help improve overall health. The notion that food can therefore be considered good medicine is compelling. The public should be better educated regarding how important good nutrition is for prevention of type 2 diabetes and for overall good health.