Nutritionist Says Adequate Balanced Diet can Prevent Diabetes, Cancer



A display of foods in a balanced diet. Image Source: FirstCry Parenting.


A Clinical Nutritionist, Mrs Ifeloluwa Akinyinka, has advised Nigerians to eat adequate balanced diet to live healthy, saying that adequate diet can prevent cancer/diabetes.

Akinyinka, who works with the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH), gave the advice in an interview in Lagos, that appropriate balanced diet is key to preventing and managing diabetes.

She said it was not difficult to eat balanced diet, adding that all that was required was the knowledge of what to eat at a particular time.

She said, “Lifestyle, including diet, could precipitate cancer. Women especially can prevent cancer by eating adequate diet.

“It is easy to eat adequate diet. All that is required is to pick at least a food item from the different food groups in adequate proportion in a meal.

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“The food groups are roots, tubers and legumes, vegetables, fruits and meat, fish, poultry, milk, as well as fats and oil.

“We should include vegetables and fruits in our daily diets to increase our nutrients.”

Akinyinka emphasised that certain ailments could be managed or prevented through adequate diet.

She said people living with diabetes could manage it through adequate diet, saying that they should also take foods rich in soluble and insoluble fibres.

“High fibre fruits, vegetables and legumes (leafy green vegetables, beans, cucumber, garden egg and apple, among others) are very important.

“Insoluble fibre helps blood sugar levels by bulking up foods without adding extra fat, sugar, protein or calories.

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“This allows the body to feel full on foods that do not release too much glucose, thus keeping diabetes under control.

“Foods rich in soluble fibre help in controlling diabetes because insoluble fibre turns into gel in the intestine and that slows the absorption of sugars in the blood,” she said.

According to the nutritionist, plant foods are good for people with diabetes because they contain a lot of dietary fibre, vitamins and antioxidants.

She said the foods would help to combat free radicals that could be dangerous for them.

She explained that keeping weight in check, being active, and eating a healthy diet can help prevent most cases of type 2 diabetes.

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“People that have diabetes should eat foods with complex carbohydrate like white oats, brown rice and whole wheat.

“The foods take time to be converted into glucose in the body, causing a steadier release than simpler refined carbohydrate, which spike blood sugar level.

“Similarly, the intake of fat should be limited because it causes insulin resistance,’’ the nutritionist advised.




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