Avoid These Eating Habits if You Don't Want to Develop Diabetes
We all have our own vices when it comes to food. Some of us may additionally enjoy swinging through the McDonald's drive-through for late-night french fries, while others of us may experience a heaping bowl of ice cream with chocolate fudge during at-home film nights.
Whatever yours is, it's important to treat yourself to the things you enjoy from time to time. However, it is additionally important to keep an eye on how often you are indulging in these habits, because some of them may lead to health problems if they're done in excess.
For example, type two diabetes is extremely common in the U.S. (around 34 million people) and many of the risk factors for developing it are related to your diet and health. Things like high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and a history of heart disorder can greatly increase your chances of developing diabetes.
We wanted to find out more about the specific eating habits that may lead to diabetes, so we talked with a few different experts to get their take. Read on to learn more about the eating habits they want you to keep an eye on, but remember, you don't have to completely give up all of the foods and drinks you love.
1 Skipping out on fiber
Getting enough fiber in your daily diet is one of the most important things you can do for your health. According to Lauren Harris-Pincus, MS, RDN, founder of Nutrition Starring YOU and author of The Everything Easy Pre-Diabetes Cookbook, most Americans fall short of fiber goals recommended by the dietary guidelines.
"Fiber helps to manage blood sugar by slowing digestion and keeping you full, so you will likely need fewer calories, which can prevent unnecessary weight gain and help decrease your risk of things like diabetes," says Harris-Pincus.
2 Missing the mark on fruits and veggies
Just like with fiber, Harris-Pincus worries that Americans are not getting enough fruits and veggies.
"Fruits and veggies contain fiber, as well as important phytochemicals and antioxidants that can help with insulin resistance, which is the primary cause of elevated blood sugar," says Harris-Pincus, "for example, research has shown that specifically consuming strawberries and wild blueberries can have a positive effect on insulin resistance."
3 Eating too much ultra-processed food
Although they're delicious, processed ingredients like chips, packaged baked goods, candies, and fast food can quickly lead to health problems, including diabetes. In fact, a 2019 study from JAMA Internal Medicine found that increasing your intake of ultra-processed foods by just 10% could increase your risk of type 2 diabetes by up to 15%.
"These foods are loaded with added sugar, saturated fat, sodium, and unnecessary calories," says Harris-Pincus. "Eating them ever so often is ok, but try to stick predominantly to more fruits and veggies, nuts, beans, seeds, lean proteins, whole grains, and low-fat dairy products for the majority of your calories and nutrients."
Originally published: Eat This Not That