The most important thing to prevent diabetes has a healthy lifestyle. Diet forms an integral part of a healthy lifestyle.
Increased calorie intake will lead to weight gain and thereby increase the risk of diabetes.
- The first step to concentrate on a diet to prevent diabetes is to modify calorie intake as per the weight/body mass index and physical activity.
- Patients who are obese or overweight should lose 5 % of body weight through lifestyle changes, including diet.
- Keep proper timing for the food and avoid frequent in-between snacks.
- Avoid food with a high glycemic index such as white potatoes, white rice, white bread, corn flakes, etc. Instead, try to replace it with low glycaemic index foods like brown rice, whole grain bread and rolled oats.
- Try to reduce the intake of refined carbohydrates and added sugars. Avoid or reduce consumption of sugar-sweetened drinks, including fruit juices and beverages.
Reduce consumption of:
- White bread
- Sugary cereals
- Fast foods
- Chips, and desserts.
Take carbohydrates mainly through high-fiber cereals and food made from whole grains, legumes and dairy products.
- Eat fresh fruits and vegetables and take whole fruit rather than fruit juices.
- Try to include a balanced amount of protein and fat in the diet. Generally, protein-rich foods are diabetic friendly.
- Try to include protein in the diet to contribute 20-25 % of total calories. Good quality protein can be obtained from eggs, beans, low-fat milk and yogurt.
- Proteins from fish and chicken are also good, and try to avoid red meat and processed meat.
Both the quantity and quality of fats have to be maintained in the diet to prevent diabetes.
Fat intake can contribute to 30-35 % of the calories required for the day.
- Avoid fat-rich in saturated fatty acids and trans-fat (repeated usage of cooking oils, partially hydrogenated, deep-fried foods or bakery products).
- Try to take fat rich in monounsaturated or polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA).
- Eating food rich in omega 3 fatty acids like fish, nuts, and seeds will reduce metabolic abnormalities.
- Try to eat fats from nuts, olive oil, fish oils, flax seeds, or avocados rich in PUFA.
There is no precise data to say dietary supplementation with vitamin D, and other micro-nutrients can prevent diabetes unless the person has proven deficiency.