Type 2-diabetes is a chronic disease characterized by an impairment in the way the body regulates and uses glucose for energy. This results in long term high blood sugar which can lead to problems with the circulatory system, nervous system, and immune system.
Diabetes can be caused by predefined factors such as your genetics, age or past behaviors that increase risk. There is no cure, but there are ways to prevent the disease. Evidence suggests that the type and source of macronutrients in a person's diet play a major role in the prevention and management of type 2 diabetes. Macronutrients are carbohydrates, fat, and protein, and there is one thing in common about the healthier options for these three: they come from plants!
Carbohydrate sources should come from unrefined instead of refined sources. This means eating more whole wheat or multigrain bread, brown rice, barley, quinoa, bran cereal, and oatmeal. Sugar is also considered a carbohydrate, and limiting sugar is the most effective way to prevent diabetes. Limit soft drinks, sugary foods, pastries, chocolate, ice cream, candies, desserts, and adding sugar in your coffee. It’s for a good cause!
Sources of fat in the diet should ideally be plant based. Fat should be unsaturated fats instead of saturated fats and trans fats. Choose more fish, vegetable oils, fatty vegetables such as avocados, nuts, and seeds, instead of butter, donuts, animal meat, and cheese.
Lastly, protein. It is a myth that you can only get an adequate source of protein from animals. There are numerous complete protein sources from plant derived products too! Evidence suggests that opting for more plant-based protein sources over animal based can help in the prevention of type 2 diabetes. These include soy products such as tofu, tempeh and edamame, lentils, chickpeas, beans, quinoa, and many many others!
Overall, eating foods in moderation, balance, and with variety is the key to a nutritious diet. Including more plant sources and less sugar can both enhance health and prevent diseases!