The Register Citizen (Torrington, CT)

How you can avoid diabetes

- Mike Roizen, M.D. is Chief Wellness Officer and Chair of Wellness Institute at Cleveland Clinic.

Q: Both my parents have Type 2 diabetes. I’m 17 and want to avoid it. Any new tips on what might help? — Franco T., Birmingham, Alabama

A: There are some new insights that may help you dodge Type 2 diabetes — but the long-standing advice about getting at least 300 minutes of physical activity a week, avoiding highly processed foods, added sugars and syrups, and red and processed meats, plus getting seven servings a day of fruits and vegetables is very effective.

That said, here’s one example of a new insight into dodging diabetes. Researcher­s looked at data on 104,168 adults in the NutriNet-Sante cohort study and found an associatio­n between greater exposure to nitrites and the risk for Type 2 diabetes. People with the most exposure to nitrite originatin­g from food additives (mostly sodium nitrite) had a 54% greater risk of developing Type 2 diabetes as those eating the least amount. That’s one reason why I say it’s smart to avoid all processed meats, such as bacon, hot dogs, sausage, ham and deli meat. And, remember, there’s no need to worry about the nitrites found in combinatio­n with other nutrients in foods such as carrots and spinach.

Another good way to prevent Type 2 diabetes is to maintain a healthy LDL cholestero­l level. A meta-study in Nutrition, Metabolism and Cardiovasc­ular Diseases included data from a total of 355,230 people with Type 2 diabetes. It reports that for every 100 milligram increase in daily harmful cholestero­l consumptio­n, the risk for diabetes jumps 106% — and folks eating the most cholestero­l daily have a 119% increased risk of diabetes when compared to those eating the least. The simple way to avoid harmful cholestero­l is to ditch egg yolks, squid, red meats, poultry skin, full-fat dairy, and fried and highly processed foods. And remember: 10,000 steps or step-equivalent­s daily is a must. Your muscles are the first place insulin resistance develops, and daily activity helps prevent that.

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