Healthful Eating

Food Choices and

Type 2 Diabetes

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As you learned from the introduction video, consuming high amounts of saturated and trans fats can increase our risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Read this article from the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine to learn more about this and to learn about the type of foods that can decrease our risk.

1. Please record your answers to the following questions, using the above article:

a. What type of diet has been shown to be highly effective in managing type 2 diabetes?

b. Why is a plant-based diet helpful in controlling type 2 diabetes?

c. How does saturated fat contribute to higher blood sugar levels?

Please follow your teacher's instructions on how to submit your answers!

Carbohydrates are very important nutrients that our bodies need every day. They are the body’s main source of energy. Carbs break down into glucose, which our body uses for all of our activities. Because they break into glucose (sugar), a common assumption is that people with type 2 diabetes should avoid carbs. However, there are different types of carbohydrates, some more beneficial than others. Read the Get to Know Carbs article from the American Diabetes Association to learn more about the different types of carbohydrates.

The same types of foods that are naturally low in saturated and trans fats, refined sugar and refined carbohydrates are also the foods that are high in fiber. According to the American Diabetes Association: "For optimal health, adults need to eat 25 to 30 grams of fiber each day. Most Americans do not consume nearly enough fiber in their diet, so while it is wise to aim for this goal, any increase in fiber in your diet can be helpful. Most of us only get about half of what is recommended." Fiber is only found in plant foods, and it’s easy to meet our fiber requirement as long as we’re eating enough of those foods.

Plant foods such as fruit, vegetables, grains and legumes are the only foods that have fiber. Here are some examples:

2. Referencing the resources above, record your answers to the following:

a. What are some of your favorite foods that contain fiber?

b. What type of foods have been shown to be highly effective in managing type 2 diabetes?

c. How does saturated fat contribute to higher blood sugar levels?

d. What role do carbohydrates play in type 2 diabetes?

Please follow your teacher's instructions on how to submit your answers!

Assignment:

Keep a food diary for one typical day of meals. Then, identify which sources of carbohydrates are from whole foods and which are from refined and use the USDA’s FoodData Central to note the amount of fiber eaten throughout the day. Next, address any food choices that could be changed to reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes.

Please follow your teacher's instructions on how to submit your work!

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Additional resources for further research:

Number of Americans with Diabetes Projected to Double or Triple by 2050: https://www.cdc.gov/media/pressrel/2010/r101022.html

World Health Organization - Diabetes Facts: https://www.who.int/en/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/diabetes