Diet is one of the most important things a person with type 2 diabetes has to think about. About 80 percent of people in the United States with type 2 have the disease because of obesity. That's more than 19 million people. That number only reflects the people who currently have diabetes already. For each of those already diagnosed, there are scores of other people who will one day get diabetes from not watching their diet.
Some doctors believe excess fat desensitizes cells to insulin, and others believe fat in the liver and pancreas keep them from working properly. Regardless of the exact reasons, medical studies show that long-term weight loss is incredibly beneficial to type 2 treatments. Losing more than 5 percent of body weight can dramatically improve symptoms. That's good news, since certain type 2 diabetes medications can be deadly.
The type 2 diabetes pill Actos (pioglitazone) increases the risk of bladder cancer by 83 percent. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has placed a black-box warning on Actos for its other side effect of congestive heart failure. The black-box label is the strongest warning that the FDA uses. They only put it on drugs that can cause life threatening side effects or death.
Children learn from their parents' example, so the best thing an adult can do to save their child from type 2 diabetes is to keep careful watch over their own diet. Eating foods that are high in fiber and low in fat, especially trans fat, is the tried-and-true staple of a diet built for diabetes. Dieticians recommend eating foods that are low on the glycemic index, so they won't raise your blood sugar too much.
Eating right makes people less dependent on medication and improves diabetes and health in general. Lower blood sugar means fewer clogged arteries. That creates less risk of congestive heart failure and stroke. A better diet will also lower cholesterol and blood pressure.
Many foods such as bread, rice and potatoes are foods containing carbohydrates that people with diabetes should try to avoid. These foods are full of starches and sugars, which will push blood sugar levels through the roof. An episode of hyperglycemia (extremely high blood pressure) can occur to someone with diabetes, even with just a small portion of these carbohydrates.
So recognize the importance of diet. Kick the French fries, and get fresh vegetables. It's well worth the trade.
William Richards researches and writes about prescription drugs and medical devices for Drugwatch.com.