‘I’m an endocrinologist and eating this one thing regularly is one of the easiest ways to get diabetes’

By | March 28, 2024

A doctor checking a patient’s blood sugar level

Chances are you know someone who has type 2 diabetes. The chronic disease has been linked to many health problems, including high blood pressure, which is often called “the silent killer.” It is the seventh leading cause of death in the United States and 7 million people do not know they are affected.

Although genetic and racial factors may make you more susceptible to being diagnosed with diabetes — American Indians, Latinos, Asians and African Americans are at higher risk — there is good news. Making a few simple adjustments to your diet early on can not only lower your risk of developing disease, but help you live a longer, healthier life at the same time.

That’s why we spoke to several endocrinologists about the #1 food that guarantees you will get diabetes so you can be sure it won’t go any further.

Related: This Is the #1 Sign of Healthy Bones, According to Endocrinologists

The #1 Food That Causes Diabetes, According to Endocrinologists

All the obesity specialists we spoke to unanimously agreed that intake refined sugar Drinking regularly can increase your chances of developing diabetes, a chronic disease that occurs when the pancreas does not produce enough insulin or when the body cannot effectively use the insulin it produces.

“The excessive consumption of sugary foods and drinks can lead to insulin resistance, a key factor in the development of diabetes,” explains Dr. Maria Teresa Anton, MD, an endocrinologist and lecturer at the Pritikin Longevity Center. “But reducing added sugars is a simple yet powerful step in managing diabetes risk,” she says.

Dr. Rekha Kumar, MD, an endocrinologist and Found’s Chief Medical Officer agree, especially when push comes to shove sugar-sweetened drinks such as fruit juice and soft drinks. “They are high in calories and sugar, often fructose, a version of sugar that leads to insulin resistance,” she says, referring to the precursor to diabetes.

While occasionally sipping sugary drinks isn’t the worst thing in the world for a reasonably healthy person, cracking open a can of Mountain Dew isn’t something you want to make a habit of, especially if your family has a habit. history of diabetes.

“Regularly enjoying sweet treats or high-carb foods can spike blood sugar levels, putting more pressure on the body’s insulin response,” says Dr. Anton, adding that moderation is key, as is being mindful of portion sizes. Measuring your food, drinking a large glass of water before meals, and chewing slowly are some helpful ways to stop overeating.

Related: The #1 Best Diet to Follow If You Want to Lose Visceral Fat

More Foods to Avoid for Diabetes Prevention

Refined sugar can be found in everything from canned fruit and dairy-based desserts to packaged baked goods (we’re looking at you, sweet rolls), so opting for a real piece of fruit to satisfy those sweet tooth cravings will make a big difference.

Even checking the nutrition labels on salad dressings and bottled sauces before throwing them in your cart is a smart move, as they can also be heavy with addictive sugars.

Other foods to avoid include highly processed carbohydrates and saturated fats, according to Dr. Anton, who says: “Avoiding items like white bread, sugary cereals and fried foods can contribute to overall health and help manage diabetes risk.”

Related: 13 Foods That Help With Diabetes

What to eat instead

In addition to eliminating the foods and drinks mentioned above, Dr. Kumar to increase your intake of vegetables, fiber and lean protein. Eating a small salad with your meal is an easy way to get more vegetables, as is eating more fiber-rich foods such as chickpeas, oats, beans, apples and pears.

And it probably goes without saying, but a sedentary lifestyle only increases your risk of developing diabetes. “Active muscles process sugar better,” she explains, so aim to do at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity per week or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity activity per week. This can be anything from walking and jogging to playing tennis, walking or cycling.

Although a healthy diet and exercise are paramount, Dr. Anton that it is crucial to prioritize stress management and get enough sleep, which is about 7 to 9 hours per night. “Chronic stress and lack of sleep can affect hormone levels and contribute to insulin resistance,” she shares, “so embracing a holistic approach to wellness is essential in preventing diabetes and promoting overall longevity.”

Supplements can also be helpful in managing diabetes, especially vitamin D and magnesium, as they play a role in insulin sensitivity. Although Dr. Anton recommends consulting with your doctor before taking any new medications or supplements.

Next one, the one thing you should never do if you want to avoid getting diabetes.


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