The incidence of diabetes has reached epidemic levels worldwide. In 2014, it was estimated that 422 million people around the world were affected by either type 1 or type 2 diabetes. In the United States alone, approximately 29 million people have the condition, and it is estimated that 8 million have it, but have not been diagnosed.
The most common type of diabetes is type 2. With this form of diabetes, the cells of the body do not properly use the insulin that is produced and secreted by the pancreas. Initially, the pancreas produces more insulin to transport glucose to the cells; however, eventually, the pancreas is unable to produce enough insulin to maintain proper blood glucose levels.
Though genetics can make a person more prone to developing type 2 diabetes, diet and exercise also play a big part in the development of this condition. For example, people who are overweight or obese and are not physically active are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes. Since diet plays such an important role in preventing this disease, here’s a look at 12 foods that you should be eating if you want to help prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes.
1. Whole grains
According to several research studies, individuals who ate about 10 grams of whole grains significantly lowered their risk of developing type 2 diabetes. In fact, they lowered their risk of developing this chronic metabolic disease by as much as 25 percent.
The reason? Whole grains can prevent spikes in blood sugar because they are packed with fiber, which helps to slow down the absorption of glucose into the bloodstream. Switch out those refined grains, like white bread and white rice for rolled oats, stone-ground whole-grain, and quinoa if you want to reduce the risk of diabetes.