Diabetes doubles in Latino youth: Which foods increase their risk

Diabetes doubles in Latino youth: Which foods increase their risk

Sodas, unhealthy fats, and meats all contribute to increasing the risk of type 2 diabetes.

Photo: Lovefood Art / Pexels

The cases of young people under 19 years of age with diabetes in the United States grew over a period of 16 years. The most significant increase in type 2 diabetes occurs among young Hispanics and African Americans.

The rates of type 1 and type 2 diabetes increased by 45.1% and 95.3%, respectively between 2001 and 2017.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) note that Latinos have genes that increase their chance of developing type 2 diabetes. They also have the highest rates of obesity, coupled with little exercise.

Most cases of type 2 diabetes can be prevented

While there is no known way to prevent type 1 diabetes. Most cases of type 2 diabetes can be prevented. The three ways are: lose weight if necessary, eat healthy, and be more active.

Excess weight is the most important cause of type 2 diabetes. The Harvard School of Public Health notes that being overweight increases your chances of developing type 2 diabetes seven times.

A study published in the European Journal of Nutrition showed that a diet rich in junk food, characterized by soda, potato chips, and snacks, increased the risk of type 2 diabetes by 70 percent.

Four Food Choices That Increase Your Risk of Diabetes

1. Highly processed carbohydrates

White bread
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Highly processed carbohydrates, such as those made from white flour, white sugar, and white rice can cause spikes in insulin and blood sugar levels. Over time, this can lead to type 2 diabetes.

Best Choice: Whole Grains and Whole Grain Products

2. Beverages sweetened with sugar

Coca Cola
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Sugary drinks have a high glycemic load and their high consumption is associated with an increased risk of diabetes. But soft drinks are not the only drinks rich in sugar, also fruit juices, lemonades, tonic waters, energy drinks, sports drinks, sweet teas and prepared coffees.

High-sugar beverages contribute to chronic inflammation, promote weight gain, and can increase insulin resistance.

Best option: Water is the best option. Coffee and tea are also good calorie-free substitutes for sugary drinks (without loads of sugar and cream).

3. Saturated and trans fats

Bread with cheese
Photo: Lisa / Pexels

Unhealthy saturated and trans fats can increase blood cholesterol levels, and high cholesterol is a risk factor for type 2 diabetes.

Saturated fats are found in fatty meats, butters, and whole milk and cheese. Trans fats were found in higher amounts in many types of margarine, packaged baked goods, fried foods in most fast food restaurants, and any product that had “partially hydrogenated vegetable oil” on the label.

Better option– healthy fats, such as those found in vegetable oils such as olive oil; nuts and seeds; fruits like avocado; and fatty fish.

4. Red and processed meats

hot dogs
Photo: River / Pexels

Harvard notes that the evidence is growing stronger that eating red meat (beef, pork, lamb) and processed red meat (bacon, sausage, cold cuts) increases the risk of diabetes, even among people who consume only small amounts.

Better option: beans, nuts, whole grains, poultry, or fish.

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