Avoid and Control Type 2 Diabetes with Proper Diet

We all have our star dishes. They are those that we can do almost with our eyes closed, that always come out delicious and that, in such beautiful, become ideal for an Instagram photo. But we also have others that represent a challenge, which is difficult for us to achieve and whose preparation makes us nervous (especially every time we decide to prepare them for a special occasion).

The challenge of preventing obesity and diabetes resembles this situation. Type 2 diabetics are initially obese. Because to increase weight and body fat there are two essential ingredients: consume extra calories and move the body a little.

There are several factors that determine the increase in body weight and diabetes. Among them, food is a key element. Current eating habits and physical activity level are risky behaviors that spread and are transmitted as social norms generated by a complex combination of socioeconomic, cultural and built environment elements that interact with each other.

The Growth of Intake

Daily per capita calories have been increasing steadily worldwide at around 580 kilocalories, per person per day. In 1960, a person consumed 2358 calories and, in 2015, 2940.

Nutrition is coming to the fore as an important determinant of chronic diseases that can be modified. The World Health Organization (WHO) explains that there is convincing evidence that the risk of obesity decreases with regular physical activity and a healthy diet with a high intake of dietary fiber, and increases with sedentary lifestyles and high intake of micronutrient-poor and energy-dense foods; that is, of low nutritional density.

Healthy Environments

In principle, it is essential to design environments where the healthiest behaviors and decisions can be expressed. Home, school, and work should support offering high-density nutritional options, such as fresh fruits, dried fruits, yogurt, whole-grain sandwich with vegetables and white cheese; so that each person or family can habitually adopt a healthy eating pattern.

One of the most important strategies is an education in food and nutrition. No single ingredient or food or group of foods can be the cause of the obesity and diabetes epidemic. What exists are patterns of consumption of food or drinks associated with weight gain. Chronic diseases such as obesity and type 2 diabetes are preventable diseases.

While more research may be needed on some aspects of the mechanisms that relate diet and health, the available scientific evidence provides a solid basis and justification for action. And urgent, given that primary prevention is the most economical, affordable and sustainable action to face the epidemic of chronic diseases.

However, food, although essential for prevention, is only one of the risk factors. If we do not include a sedentary lifestyle, technology, the world of entertainment, hours of sleep, drugs that generate obesity and stress management, no action will be successful. Finally, the great challenge is that “literacy” in health and nutrition requires intersectoral alliances, a great increase in attention and resources. When will we start to travel this road? The recipe is not simple, but it will be very satisfying.