This World Diabetes Day, we're looking at the disease, its causes and consequences, as well as the impact of diet on its prevention. You'll also find out how Oh!My Snacks can help you ensure your dietary balance, without sacrificing taste and pleasure during your breaks.
What is diabetes?
Diabetes is a chronic metabolic disease that currently affects an increasing number of people, particularly in more developed countries.
It is characterized by alterations in the regulation of glycaemia (blood sugar), in particular situations of chronic hyperglycaemia (systematically high blood sugar levels).
This situation stems from a deficiency in the production of insulin by the pancreas or an alteration in its action at cell level, or even both, causing an abnormal metabolism of carbohydrates, fats and proteins.
Depending on the underlying cause, there are various types of diabetes. However, the most relevant and prevalent are type 1 and type 2 diabetes.
Type 1 diabetes is the most common type in childhood and is an autoimmune disease in which the immune system itself destroys the insulin-producing cells, not recognizing them as its own.
Type 2 diabetes is the most common form in adults, but it can also appear in childhood and adolescence, especially in children who are obese and have high levels of physical inactivity.
In most cases, this type of diabetes is associated with an unbalanced lifestyle, which includes a sedentary lifestyle, smoking habits, poor eating habits and/or obesity.
Symptoms of diabetes
When blood glucose levels are outside the reference values, there are some signs and symptoms that tend to start manifesting themselves, namely:
- Polyphagia (frequent hunger);
- Polydipsia (frequent thirst);
- Frequent urination;
- Weight changes;
- Mood swings;
- Nausea and vomiting;
- Shivering and cold sweats;
- Blurred vision;
- Most common infections.
Consequences of diabetes
This pathology can affect several organs in the long term and can trigger very significant consequences:
- Cardiovascular disease;
- Diabetic nephropathy (kidney disease);
- Diabetic foot (a circulatory problem caused by a wound that doesn't heal and becomes infected, turning into an ulcer);
- Diabetic neuropathy (nerve pathology);
- Diabetic retinopathy (eye damage).
Diabetes and food:
The relationship between diabetes and diet is very close: the way you eat can have a direct and marked influence on the onset, evolution and severity of diabetes symptoms; and in turn, the symptoms and consequences of diabetes influence the way you eat.
In addition to taking care to choose balanced food options, another crucial aspect for better control of blood glucose levels is to eat regular meals throughout the day, without going long periods of time without eating.
The main dietary recommendations for prevention and better glycemic control in cases of diabetes are as follows:
- Make balanced dietary choices adjusted to individual needs, in order to avoid overweight and obesity;
- Limit sugar intake, particularly refined white sugar;
- Reduce your intake of processed foods;
- Increase fiber intake;
- Reduce consumption of fried foods and high-fat foods;
- Reduce salt intake;
- Eat regular meals throughout the day.
How can Oh! My Snacks help you?
As mentioned earlier, including foods without added sugar, rich in fiber and nutritionally balanced in your daily diet is a good way, along with other healthy daily habits, to prevent diabetes and other food-related health conditions.
So here are some suggestions for balanced and tasty snacks to include in your daily routine:
1. Fiber-rich snacks
Among the foods richest in fiber are oats, fruit, legumes, oleaginous fruits (walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts) and vegetables.
In our snack portfolio, you'll find several tasty options that are good sources of fiber:
- Protein balls based on oats, dates and the inclusion of oleaginous fruits, particularly the options that include Whey protein;
- Protein bars, particularly dark chocolate and coffee bars;
- Raw bars based on dates and nuts, particularly brownie bars.
2. Snacks without added white sugar
Within our portfolio, most of the options are without added white sugar. In the case of sweeter snacks, they are only sweetened with natural options such as fruit, dates or cinnamon, or when this is not possible, agave or rice syrup, stevia or low-energy sweeteners such as erythritol or maltitiol are used, only in the quantities strictly necessary.
In this case, you have several categories and different flavors to choose from:
- Raw, protein and cereal bars;
- Salty and spicy mixes;
- Cookies and biscuits;
- Pies and cakes;
- Protein and fruit balls;
- Dehydrated fruit.
3. Snacks with simple, natural ingredients
One of the things we value most in our snacks is short ingredient lists and simple, natural ingredients.
Once again, within our portfolio, you'll find a wide range of options that meet these criteria:
- Protein balls, which include only ingredients such as oats, dates, oleaginous fruits, sunflower oil, cinnamon , cocoa or fruit;
- Energy cereal bars with nuts, dried fruit, seeds and agave syrup;
- Mixed nuts, only with a mix of dried fruit and nuts;
- Dehydrated fruit snacks, 100% fruit.
The inclusion of balanced foods, restricted in refined white sugar and rich in fiber, always combined with the overall balance of your eating day and other important lifestyle factors (physical exercise, no smoking habits, low stress levels, among others), are very important for the prevention of numerous chronic diseases, including diabetes.
To help you in this mission, there's Oh!My Snacks! Within our range, you have several options that you can include from breakfast to afternoon snack, combining food balance and taste with the convenience and personalization of our service.
Visit our "our snacks" tab to discover some of the options we have to offer, as well as the article "Your Solution for Balanced and Personalized Snacks!" to learn about our method and philosophy!
American Diabetes Association. (n.d.). Eating well. ADA. Retrieved [10/11/2023], from https://diabetes.org/food-nutrition/eating-healthy
Rita Lima (CP.3003N)