A varied diet can prevent diabetes – but can you afford it?
In a study of over 25,000 adults with detailed information about their eating habits, people with a greater diversity of foods in their diet showed a 30% lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes over a ten-year period. Unfortunately, the diets with more variety were 18% more expensive than the less-varied ones.
A healthy diet is critical for preventing and managing type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes affects around 415m adults globally; a figure that is expected to rise to 643m by 2040, mostly in low- and middle-income countries. So governments should support their citizen’s ability to eat well.
For several decades now, governments have recommended that people eat a varied diet. Global five-a-day campaigns stress the consumption of a variety of fruits and vegetables. The theory goes that consuming a variety of foods ensures that a person receives all the necessary vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals that are needed for the body to function and stay healthy. But, what do we really mean by a varied diet and what is its relationship with diabetes?
A varied diet is a healthier diet
Although dietary guidelines have for a long time recommended eating a variety of foods, scientists are not sure exactly what it is about eating a varied diet that might promote health. There has been research on how the variety of foods relate to the nutritional quality of a person’s diet, but little is known about whether the diversity of the diet is related to risk of chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes.
For example, there are no studies on whether a diet containing foods from all five food Continue reading