Sign In
  • ENG

Better diet can help you control type 2 diabetes

Written by Editorial Team |Published : June 17, 2014 6:00 PM IST

diabetes-productsMore fruits and vegetables and fewer sweetened beverages and saturated fats significantly decreased risk for type 2 diabetes, independent of other lifestyle changes, in a recent study. The study, conducted at the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPS), followed 148,484 participants without diabetes at the start. Researchers judged the quality of subjects' diet using the Alternate Healthy Eating Index 2010, created by the HSPH to rival similar government sources that are still evolving after the 2011 elimination of the USDA Food Guide Pyramid.

According to the study, participants who increased their diet quality index scores by just 10 percent over a four-year period were 20 percent less likely to develop the disease. Results were compared between participants who reduced their calorie intake or who increased their exercise quotient, yet the study concluded that diet quality was the most important factor in warding off type 2 diabetes. 'We found that diet was indeed associated with diabetes independent of weight loss and increased physical activity,' said lead researcher Sylvia Ley, PhD, a post-doctoral fellow at the Harvard School of Public Health. 'If you improve other lifestyle factors you reduce your risk for type 2 diabetes even more, but improving diet quality alone has significant benefits.' (Read: Natural 'cure' for type 2 diabetes soon?)

Ley was encouraged by the results, noting that increasing the quality of one's diet is easier than cutting down on calories. 'This is important because it is often difficult for people to maintain a calorie-restricted diet for a long time. We want them to know if they can improve the overall quality of what they eat -- consume less red meat and sugar-sweetened beverages, and more fruits, vegetables and whole grains -- they are going to improve their health and reduce their risk for diabetes.' According to Ley, subjects' diets were diverse in quality when the study began, but results indicate that an improvement is beneficial regardless of how poor the diet had once been. The study was presented at the American Diabetes Association's 74th Scientific Sessions. (Read: Expert tips to deal with type 2 diabetes)

Also Read

More News

How to live well with type 2 diabetes?

Through proper sugar control, many problems such as eye disease, kidney disease, heart disease, nerve damage and serious foot problems can be prevented or delayed. Maintain a healthy lifestyle and stick to daily routines of regular exercise, good nutrition, glucose monitoring, and regular visits to your doctor.

  • Eat regular meals. Have at least three meals at about the same time everyday. Eating every four to five hours can help control blood sugar. Always carry with you some type of carbohydrate food or drink that has 10 to 15 grams of carbohydrate which you can use in case of emergency (low glucose level).
  • Eat a variety of foods. Choose foods that fulfill your body's nutritional needs. Eat less fat, less sugar and less salt. Avoid fried foods. Baked, boiled or steamed foods are healthier to eat. Avoid red meat. Have low fat dairy products. Eat more high-fiber foods, like vegetables, fruit and whole grain breads and cereals.
  • Monitor your blood glucose two to four times every day with a blood glucose meter,if your doctor has advised you to. It is an electronic device for measuring the blood glucose at home. The blood glucose test is performed by pricking your finger with a small, sharp needle (lancet), putting a drop of blood on a chemically active disposable test strip and then placing the strip into a digital meter that displays your blood sugar level. Within a few seconds, the blood glucose level will be shown on the digital display.
  • Get an A1C test done once every 3 months. This helps assess your diabetes control for the past few months by basically measuring the amount of glucose that has been sticking to your red blood cells. Each red blood cell is replaced by a new one every 3 to 4 months. Hence, this test tells you how high the glucose levels have been during the life of the cells. Your aim is to keep your A1C around 6-7%. If most of your recent blood glucose readings have been near normal (70 to 140mg/dL), the A1C test will be near normal (about 6-7%). Many readings above normal will make your A1C test read higher. Read more about Tips to live well with Type 2 Diabetes

With inputs from AFP

You may also like to read:

For more on diabetes, check out our diabetes section and Diabetes page. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for all the latest updates! For daily free health tips, sign up for our newsletter. And to join discussions on health topics of your choice, visit our forum.

Total Wellness is now just a click away.

Follow us on