Diabetes is on the rise. The Centers for Disease control in the US predicts that an American born in 2000 has a one in three chance of becoming diabetic.
The food you eat plays a crucial role in your health. Certain foods can even help in the prevention and treatment of diabetes. In diabetes, the cells of the body cannot get the sugar they need. Glucose, a simple sugar, is the body’s main fuel. It is present in the blood even if you don’t eat any sugary foods, because the foods we eat are broken down into glucose. A hormone called insulin signals the body’s cells to let glucose in. In people with diabetes, glucose cannot get into the cells where it is needed.
People with type 1 diabetes do not have enough insulin to signal the cells to let in glucose, so it builds up in the blood stream. People with type 2 diabetes or who are at high risk for diabetes are said to be insulin resistant, meaning that while there is enough insulin present, the cells aren’t paying very close attention to the signal. Being above one’s healthy weight and choosing a fatty diet increase the likelihood of insulin resistance. Both types of diabetes are reaching epidemic proportions: An average American born in 2000 has a one in three chance of developing diabetes, according to the Centers for Disease Control.
Low-fat, fiber-rich diets built from legumes, vegetables, whole grains, and fruits help individuals avoid diabetes and control blood sugar levels. Such diets can also prevent complications in people who already have diabetes.