You Can Actually Cut Your Diabetes Risk by Eating These Foods

One thing we know for sure in 2017: How you eat matters. Science has shown that your diet affects everything from your mood to physical health and even your athletic performance. Still, even though there’s an extremely clear link between what we put in our bodies and our overall wellness, lots of people skimp on healthy foods. One of the biggest diet-related ailments affecting our population? Diabetes. In the United States alone, 26 million people have it, and another 79 million have prediabetes, meaning there’s a pretty good chance they’re going to get it. Though type 1 diabetes is thought to be an autoimmune illness, type 2 can largely be treated through diet and exercise, and whether or not you develop it is partially within your control.

“A diet rich in fibre from complex carbohydrates and vegetables as well as lean proteins such as fish, chicken, and lean cuts of beef” is ideal to minimise your risk, says Vanessa Rissetto, RD. Lisa Davis, PhD, chief nutrition officer at Terra’s Kitchen, agrees, explaining, “The key to improving and maintaining optimal health stems from eating a balanced, unprocessed whole foods diet focused on lean protein (fish, eggs), healthy fats (extra virgin olive oil, avocados), vegetables (especially leafy greens), fruit, legumes, and whole grains like oatmeal, brown rice, and quinoa. All of these foods, plus herbs and spices like cinnamon, are found as part of the Mediterranean style diet,” she says.

One last thing you should pay attention to aside from the actual food you’re eating is how much of it is on your plate. “The most important thing is the serving sizes,” says Rissetto. “People have this misconception that if they are eating a ‘healthy’ food, then they can have as much of it as they want, and this, unfortunately, is where problems arise. Brown rice is healthy, but the serving size is 1/3 cup, avocados are healthy but the serving size is 1/4 of an avocado.” In other words, paying attention what and how much you’re putting in your body is crucial.

Whether you are actively trying to reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes, already have it, or just want to eat healthily, these recipes should be your new go-to. Consider this week's meal plan sorted. 

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