What causes diabetes?


What causes diabetes?

The exact cause of diabetes is unknown. However, a combination of the following is linked to the development of type 2 diabetes:

  • Having pre-diabetes 
  • Heredity 
  • Poor diet
  • Obesity
  • Age: being 45 years or older
  • Ethnicity: Native American, Hispanic Americans, African Americans are at higher risk for type 2 diabetes

Over time, high blood glucose can have harmful effects on the body, leading to long-term complications. The longer you have diabetes and the less controlled your blood sugar - the higher the risk of complications. 

Eventually, diabetes complications may be disabling or even life-threatening.

Possible complications can include the following:

  • Heart disease
  • Kidney disease
  • Nerve damage
  • Eye disease
  • Foot damage (which can lead to amputation and skin disorders like chronic infections and ulcers)

Recommended foods to eat:

  • Focus on healthy carbs, such as fruits, veggies, whole grains and low-fat dairy products
  • Fiber rich foods include veggies, fruits, buts, legumes, whole-wheat flour and wheat bran
  • Heart-healthy fish (cod, tuna and halibut, salmon, tuna, sardines)
  • Good fats include avocados, almonds, pecans, wa;nuts, olives, olive and peanut oils 

Foods to avoid:

  • Saturated fats (high-fat dairy products and animal proteins such as beef, hot dogs, sausage and bacon contain saturated fats
  • Trans fats (These types of fats are found in processed snacks, baked goods, shortening and margarines
  • Cholesterol (Aim for no more than 200 milligrams (mg) of cholesterol a day
  • Sodium (Aim for less than 2,300 mg of sodium a day

For more information, visit healthtexas.org.

Information courtesy of HealthTexas.

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