News

26-07-2017

Use the Diabetes Australia Risk Calculator to check whether you are at risk of pre-diabetes and type two diabetes or ask your GP. See diabetesaustralia.com.au to use the online calculator with your own details.

Advice regarding the healthiest or "best" diet is confusing and often conflicting, particularly about sugar and diabetes risk. More fat? Less carbohydrates? More wholegrain? More Protein? There have been studies on prevention programmes to delay or prevent progression to diabetes of those who have higher blood sugar readings than normal, but not high enough to be diagnosed as having Type Two Diabetes ( pre-diabetes of impaired glucose tolerance). If people are able to reduce their weight by 5-10%, walk for 30 minutes per day five days per week and eat more healthily, it is possible to reduce the risk of developing diabetes by 58% over two years.

The current advice, based on recent studies and evidence is:

1. Eat more vegetables and fruit

Those populations with the highest intake of fruit and vegetables have the lowest incidence of diabetes, particularly green leafy vegetables like spinach, broccoli and Asian greens

2. Stop drinking softdrinks

Large studies from the UK and USA demonstrate strong associations between drinking these drinks and developing diabetes, for each sugar sweetened drink per day, there is a 13% increase in the incidence of diabetes

3. Increase plant-based foods and reduce animal foods

People who have the highest intake of fruit and vegetables ( whole grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts, legumes, vegetable oils, tea and coffee) and low intake of animal products have a 20% lower risk of diabetes.  Of note, high intakes of less healthy plant foods such as refined grains, potatoes, sweets, fruit juice and sugar-sweetened drinks is associated with a very much increased risk of diabetes

4.Eat foods with a low glycaemic index

These foods are digested more slowly and lead to less increase in blood sugar after eating. A GI value is given out of 100 and less than 55 is considered low. See gisymbol.com for fact sheets and introduction to recipes, simple GO swaps and shopping lists.

5. Reduce processed carbohydrates and refined sugars

Complex carbohydrates provide fibre, B vitamins and are often fortified with folates and iodine. The heartfoundation.org au website has a useful reference page to identify sugars on the ingredient list of foods, for example glucose, maltose, dextrose, cane sugar, malt extract and sucrose.

To use the comprehensive dietary assessment tool produced by the University of Newcastle nutrition and dietetics department,  see the Australian Eating Survey for a personal comparison with nutrient reference values ( australianeatingsurvey.com.au) The AES generates a personalised report on nutritional adequacy of dietary intake tailored to age, gender and life stage fro the age of two years


  

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