A well balanced diet is a wholesome diet which provides all essential nutrients from all food groups (carbs, fats, proteins, vitamins, minerals & water) in adequate proportions. It is vital for proper regulation of metabolic processes, and maintenance of an ideal body mass.

The amount of calories you need each day to lose or maintain your weight depends on your age, sex, weight, physical activities and other factors. Ideally your daily calorie requirement should be met with 45–65% of carbs, 20–35% of fats and 10–35% of protein. We can alter this distribution little bit  to 40 % carbs, 30% fats & 30 % proteins to loss weight and reduce the risk of diabetes. Quantity and quality, that is the portion size along with calories restriction will play a major role in reducing  your risk of diabetes by reducing your weight.

Following dietary changes can have a big impact on the risk of type 2 diabetes…

1.Choose whole grains and whole grain products over refined grains and other highly processed carbohydrates

Actually whole grains don’t have any magical ingredient to fight diabetes, it is only the bran and fibre present in whole grains which will slow down the conversion of starch into glucose and prevent the sudden increase in blood glucose and insulin levels and thereby reduce the strain on the pancreas. Also whole grains are rich in essential vitamins, minerals and phytochemical that may help reduce the risk of diabetes.

In contrast high glycemic index food like white rice, white bread, many breakfast cereals, starchy vegetables like potato and sugary drinks may cause sustained spike in blood sugar and insulin levels, which will make the pancreas over work and fail. Also these high glycemic foods lead to chronic inflammation, high triglycerides, low good cholesterol (HDL) and increase in insulin resistance,  which are all diabetes risk factors.

2. Skip the sugary drinks, and choose water, coffee, or tea

Sugary drinks such as sodas and other carbonated soft drinks, energy drinks, fruit flavored or powdered drinks, vitamin-enhanced drinks, milkshake and sweetened tea and coffee drinks may cause sustained spike in blood sugar & insulin levels, leading to overworking pancreas. Instead you can drink water, lime juice, butter milk, tea & coffee ( with out sugar & milk ). There is also some evidence coming out in favour of coffee & tea offering some protection against diabetes.

3. Choose healthy fats

Healthy fats, such as the polyunsaturated, monounsaturated  fats found in liquid vegetable oils, nuts, seeds and fish can help to ward off type 2 diabetes.The harmful saturated & trans fats which are found in meat, whole milk products, margarine, packaged baked foods, fried & fast foods and any product that labeled  “partially hydrogenated vegetable oil” carries more risk for heart disease and diabetes.


4. Limit red meat and choose poultry and fish along with nuts, beans and whole grains

Red and processed meats are a hallmark of the unhealthy “Western diet”, which seem to trigger diabetes in people who are already at genetic risk. Eating red meat (beef, pork, lamb) and processed red meat (bacon, hot dogs ) increases the risk of diabetes, even among people who consume only small amounts. The high levels of preservatives and sodium in processed meat and high iron content in red meat diminishes insulin’s effectiveness or damages the cells that produce insulin and cause diabetes. There is some recent evidence showing that people who eat meat and chicken cooked at high temperatures are at more risk for obesity and diabetes. 

Predominantly eating a plant based diet may help you to lower type 2 diabetes risk. Eating more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, legume, fish, poultry and low fat dairy and avoiding less healthy foods like highly processed and high glycemic index foods will reduce the risk. There is  nothing called  a “magic diet”, eating less and being active is the way to good health.

 “Healthy does NOT mean starving yourself EVER. Healthy means eating the right food in the right amount”. – Karen Salmansohn.