The 3 simple rules to prevent diabetes


Diabetes is, of all the chronic diseases that currently affect the population, the one that can be most easily prevented: it is estimated that nearly 90 % of diabetes cases could be eliminated simply by making certain lifestyle changes!

We It has been known for several years that the problems with blood sugar control associated with diabetes are very often a direct consequence of the Western way of life. For example, several studies have shown that certain indigenous populations such as the Amerindians, the Pima Indians of Arizona or the Mowanjum of Australia who adopt our way of life see their incidence of D increase dramatically. Conversely, when these individuals return to their traditional way of life, this trend is quickly reversed.

Diabetes encouraged by our way of life

This negative impact of the Western lifestyle is due to the excessive side of our eating habits, in particular the consumption of industrial foods containing high amounts of sugars, fats and refined flours (and calories) which promotes body weight, especially at a time when we are increasingly sedentary. This lifestyle puts a strain on our blood sugar control systems because:

– The high simple sugar content of many foods (e.g. soft drinks) causes fluctuations important in blood sugar levels, which forces our pancreas to work harder which can lead, in the long run, to its exhaustion and to the cessation of insulin production.

– Overweight and obesity increase the amount of fat in the blood and thus cause the development of inflammatory conditions. This chronic inflammation over time becomes toxic to the pancreas and also leads to a decrease in insulin production.

– Lower muscle activity caused by physical inactivity makes control of blood sugar more difficult because the muscles represent one of the main organs involved in the uptake of sugar in response to insulin and are therefore less efficient when inactive.

The high incidence of type 2 diabetes currently observed in the population is therefore not due to any predisposition to this disease or even to an inevitable consequence of aging, but rather to a combination of factors that interfere with our physiological mechanisms involved in the control of glycemia.

3 main principles to prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes

Fortunately, the large contribution of lifestyle to the development of type 2 diabetes implies that simple changes to our habits can have a dramatic impact on our risk of being affected by this disease. This prevention of diabetes can be largely accomplished with the help of the following three main principles:

1) it goes without saying that the maintenance of he normal body weight is an essential facet of any preventive approach to this disease.

The solution to achieve this is not to “deprive yourself” by following one or other of the innumerable diets: not only these diets are generally ineffective for losing weight, but in the long run they end up spoiling the pleasure of eating. A realistic approach to maintaining an ideal weight is to try to avoid high-calorie processed foods as much as possible and instead adopt a diet containing an abundance of plant products (such as fruits and vegetables and whole grains) which allows our mechanisms to control appetite to function optimally and thus avoid energy overload.

2) paying particular attention to the type of sugar present in food (carbohydrates).

For example, simple sugars which are added in large quantities in industrial products are quickly assimilated and force the pancreas to secrete a large quantity of ‘insulin. The same goes for products made from refined flours, such as white bread: the carbohydrates present in these flours increase blood sugar as quickly as simple sugars! On the other hand, the carbohydrates present in dietary fibers and complex starches, found in vegetables, legumes and whole grains are assimilated much more slowly and lead to a lower production of insulin, which saves the function of the pancreas.

3) regular physical exercise is essential for the prevention of type 2 diabetes.

Indeed, muscles being the main organs involved in the absorption of glucose in response to insulin, regular physical activity, while maintaining optimal muscle function, improves insulin sensitivity and thereby to ensure a stable level of blood glucose. And, what’s more, regular physical activity also leads to a noticeable improvement in blood pressure, an extremely positive effect for the prevention of cardiovascular disease.


O’Dea, K. Diabetes; 29: 29 -603.

Read also:

Overweight in children, diabetes at the turn

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