Obesity increases the risk for type 2 diabetes


Diabetes Mellitus type 2 (DM2) is commonly referred to as non-insulin-dependent diabetes. Although the genetic basis of DM2 has not yet been entirely clarified, there are strong indications that obesity, poor nutrition and lack of physical activity are the major non-genetic risk factors causing the disease.

According to the recommendations of major international organizations, diet is the first priority in the prevention and treatment of diabetes mellitus type 2.

In particular, eating foods rich in antioxidants (e.g. fruit, vegetables, pulses, wholemeal cereals/pasta) contribute to the reduction of lipogenesis and body weight through mechanisms that primarily include improving insulin sensitivity. This results in an improvement of the ability of insulin to effectively metabolize carbohydrates and thus regulate blood sugar levels.

Basic dietary guidelines for diabetes:

  • Maintaining body weight at normal levels (BMI: 18.5-25Kgr/m2).
  • Do not go more than 3 hours without eating. Regular meals help to smoothly adjust sugar levels.
  • Consume food from all categories. This is how you achieve better control of sugar levels and get a feeling of satiety more easily.
  • Consume whole grains and whole wheat pasta. They contain complex carbohydrates and fiber, which keep glucose levels steady.
  • Limit the consumption of sugar and fatty sweets (pastries, cakes, ice cream, etc.).
  • Limit the consumption of saturated fatty acids such as those found in red meat, butter, pastries (confectionery, croissants, etc.), ready-made and packaged foods (puffed snacks, cheese pies, Kasseri cheese pies, etc.), full-fat dairy products, yellow cheeses, etc
  • Reduce alcohol consumption to a minimum. 1-2 small glasses of red wine a few times week may be beneficial to the health of the heart and the circulatory system.
  • Drink 2 glasses of green tea every day: Clinical trials on test animals show that green tea contributes to the prevention of diabetes and regulates blood glucose levels due to its high content in epigallocatechin (EGC), an active form of catechin with strong antioxidant action
  • Read the nutrition facts labels on packaged foods. Check the food’s content in saturated (bad) fats and the amount of sodium (salt) and sugars they contain. This will help you make healthier choices!
  • Engage in physical activity every day.
  • Consume foods with low glycemic index. The Glycemic Index of a food is low when it ranges between 0-55 on a scale of 0-100. According to recent clinical studies, foods with low glycemic index contribute to better control of sugar levels and to weight loss.