Diabetes cases are on the rise, with more than 4.3 million people living with the blood sugar condition in the UK alone.
While type 1 diabetes is thought to be triggered by an autoimmune reaction, in which your body starts to destroy the cells in the pancreas that make insulin, type 2 diabetes can be set off with unhealthy dietary choices.
“Although certain foods aren’t the root cause of type 2 diabetes, they can affect your risk of developing the disease,” said Elizabeth Wall, a registered nutritionist and a researcher at Nutrivitality.
Worryingly, popular foods eaten by millions of Britons could be laying this harmful groundwork.
Fortunately, the nutritionist has outlined the foods and drinks to beware of.
Wall said: “Consuming too many sugary drinks, refined carbs like white bread, rice and breakfast cereal, eating too much red and processed meats and having too much salt, can all increase your risk.”
The expert explained that highly processed foods, such as bacon, are high in calories but low in nutritional value.
“A diet consisting of these foods over time will increase your risk of diabetes.”
The nutritionist warned that portion control could also be “an issue”. Eating large amounts of food can lead to obesity which is one of the risk factors for type 2 diabetes.
Wall said: “Many junk and processed foods come in large portions and this again will cause blood sugar spikes and weight gain.
“90 percent of adults with type 2 diabetes are overweight or obese.
“This means a focused effort on losing weight and making healthier lifestyle choices will dramatically decrease your risk of diabetes and also your risk of other chronic diseases.”
While certain dietary choices can pose a trigger for the condition, others can serve as an antidote.
The nutritionist recommended following a healthy and varied diet to minimise your chances of developing type 2 diabetes.
Wall added: “You will want to include more fruit and vegetable varieties in your meals, add unsweetened yoghurt, milk, and cheese and eat oily fish such as salmon.
“Following a varied diet is the best way to reduce your risk of many diseases, including type 2 diabetes.”