‘ULTRA-PROCESSED FOODS’ AND RISK OF TYPE 2 DIABETES

According to the NOVA classification system, the phrase ‘ultra-processed foods’ encompasses a wide range of foods and beverages, including (but not limited to): carbonated soft drinks; sweet or savoury packaged snacks (e.g., corn chips, potato crisps, etc…); ice cream, chocolate, candies (confectionery); mass-produced packaged breads, buns, cookies (biscuits), pastries, cakes and cake mixes; breakfast ‘cereals’, …

‘ULTRA-PROCESSED FOODS’ – PROBLEMATIC FOODS OR PACKAGING?

Prospective cohort studies have found associations with high consumption of ‘ultra-processed foods’ and increased risk of overweight, obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, breast cancer, cardiovascular diseases (e.g., heart disease and stroke) and all-causes of death (mortality). Authors of these studies have suggested many potential reasons for these associations: Compared to minimally-processed foods and drinks, …

THE MEDITERRANEAN DIET AND RISK OF TYPE 2 DIABETES

The Mediterranean diet (Med-diet) is a traditional pattern of eating that involves the habitual consumption of foods and drinks from the countries located in and around the Mediterranean Sea. It is characterized by high consumption of vegetables, fruits, olive oil, legumes, wholegrains, nuts, and seafood, moderate intake of dairy (especially fermented varieties like yoghurt and …

THE OKINAWAN DIET: JAPANESE EQUIVALENT TO THE MEDITERRANEAN DIET

While the Mediterranean diet (Med-diet) is healthy and enjoyable for many, the eating pattern may not be ideal for everyone for a variety of reasons, including, importantly, food culture and traditional food preferences. People living in South-East Asia, for example, have traditionally enjoyed low fat, high carbohydrate eating patterns for millennia, and switching to a …

TYPE 2 DIABETES AND RISK OF CANCER

Most people with diabetes already know they have a higher risk of premature death, mainly due to their increased risk of cardiovascular disease (e.g., heart disease, stroke and peripheral vascular disease). There is also some evidence that people with diabetes have an increased risk of developing and dying from certain forms of cancer. However, it …

DIET AND CANCER

Cancer is a generic term for a group of diseases that can affect essentially any part of the body. Other terms commonly used are malignant tumours and neoplasms. A defining feature of cancer is the rapid creation of abnormal cells that grow beyond their usual boundaries, and which can then invade adjoining parts of the …

ENERGY BALANCE AND CONTROL OF BODY WEIGHT

As most people are aware, rates of overweight and obesity are increasing all around the world. In 2016, the World Health Organization estimated that 39% of the world’s adults were overweight and 13% were obese, or in other words, more than half (52%) the world’s adult population was overweight or obese. Excess energy from foods …

THE THERMIC EFFECT OF FOOD

Weight gain, whether intentional or not, generally occurs over long periods of time, as habitual energy intake exceeds our bodies’ requirements. Because the process for most of us is a relatively slow one (e.g., on average 0.5 kg or 1.1 pounds per year), factors that influence energy balance, even modestly, may be clinically important over …

GLYCEMIC LOAD AND DIABETES

People have long known that, compared to the other major nutrients protein and fat, the amount and type of carbohydrate that we eat or drink has the most pronounced effect on blood glucose levels in people with diabetes. Before the glycemic index (GI) was conceived, people with diabetes predominantly counted carbohydrate using carbohydrate exchanges (15 …