March 5, 2024

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These three eating habits are the biggest causes of type 2 diabetes

These three eating habits are the biggest causes of type 2 diabetes


Over the past 40 years, rates of diabetes and obesity have risen dramatically around the world. Researchers have mapped the changes in our diet over the past 40 years and discovered the three eating habits most often associated with type 2 diabetes.

Read also: What are the early symptoms of diabetes?

Causes of type 2 diabetes

Researchers from the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University have studied our eating habits over the past 40 years in at least 184 countries. For example, it turns out that in 2018, seven out of ten type 2 diabetes diagnoses were related to the patient’s diet. In fact, they discovered which foods had the greatest impact on the development of the disease.

Among the 11 nutritional factors monitored, these three factors stood out:

  1. Insufficient consumption of whole grains
  2. Excessive consumption of refined grains: white flour, white rice, white pasta, etc.
  3. Excessive consumption of processed meat and unprocessed red meat: On average, people in all countries studied eat 56.5 grams of meat per day. The optimal intake is 14.3 grams per day.

Other factors that may also play a role in the development of the disease, but have a much lesser effect, are:

  • Lots of fruit juice
  • Lots of potatoes
  • Too little yogurt
  • – Not eating sufficient amounts of fruits, vegetables, nuts or seeds
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Lead author Professor Dariush Mozaffarian said: “Our study suggests that poor carbohydrate quality is one of the most important drivers of diet-related type 2 diabetes worldwide, with significant variation between countries and over time.” “These new findings show that we must focus nationally and globally to improve nutrition.”

Read also: What is diabetes and what can you do about it?

The analysis found that, globally, diet-induced type 2 diabetes affects more men than women, more young people than older people, and more urban than rural residents.

Europe (Central and Eastern Europe) and Central Asia, especially Poland and Russia, where diets are generally rich in red meat, processed meat and potatoes, have the highest number of diet-related cases of type 2 diabetes. Incidence rates were also high in Latin America and the Caribbean, especially in Colombia and Mexico, due to high consumption of sugary drinks and processed meats and low consumption of whole grains.

Read also: Diabetes and depression: a worrying duo

Last updated: December 2023

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