Recommended Diet for Children to Prevent Diabetes

Recommended Diet for Children to Prevent Diabetes

People with diabetes can eat the same FOODS the family enjoys. Everyone benefits from healthy eating so the whole family can take part in healthy eating. It takes some planning but you can fit your favorite foods into your meal plan and still manage your blood glucose, blood pressure and cholesterol. People with diabetes can eat the same foods the family enjoys. Everyone benefits from healthy eating so the whole family can take part in healthy eating. It takes some planning but you can fit your favorite foods into your meal plan and still manage your blood glucose, blood pressure and cholesterol and you can even prevent complications such as heart disease, some cancers, and hypertension.


Diabetes is one of the most common chronic diseases in school-aged children. In the United States, about 176,500 people under 20 years of age have diabetes. About 1 in every 400 to 600 children has type 1 diabetes. Each year, more than 13,000 children are diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. Currently, because 10 to 15 percent of children and teens are overweight – about double the number of two decades ago – increasing numbers of young people have type 2 diabetes.

Type 2 diabetes is a chronic condition that affects the way the body metabolizes sugar (glucose). Type 2 diabetes in children develops when a child's body becomes resistant to the effects of insulin — a hormone that regulates the absorption of sugar into cells — or when a child's pancreas produces some, but not enough, insulin to maintain a normal blood sugar level. Prediabetes, a precursor to type 2 diabetes, also is a concern. Left untreated, prediabetes can progress to type 2 diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is a similar condition in which the pancreas produces little or no insulin.

Overweight Latino children who consume lots of sugar especially drinks- show signs of beta cell decline, a precursor of type 2 diabetes, according to researchers at the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California. Dietitians determined children's everyday dietary habits by using three-day records that tracked children's food-and-drink intake. In the children studied, those who consumed more sugar on an everyday basis had signs of decreased beta cell function, implying they were heading toward type 2 diabetes. Sugars included glucose, sucrose, fructose; lactose and galactose found in food and drink products.

The main diabetes causes of diabetes are:

Study showed that people with pre-diabetes can prevent the development of type 2 diabetes by making changes in their diet and increasing their level of physical activity. They may even be able to return their blood glucose levels to the normal range. Research with animals shows that a diet low in magnesium can affect the body’s ability to handle insulin, and that supplementing the diet with magnesium can make the development of diabetes less likely.

The food you eat normally generates ATP, a form of chemical energy used by cells. That energy powers your muscles during exercise. But without exercise, ATP is used to make and store fat. This strategy was useful during times of famine, but it now sets the stage for dangerous levels of obesity in Western society, where food is plentiful and exercise is scarce. And obesity often causes insulin resistance, which can lead to diabetes. Researchers have developed genetically-altered mice that do not become obese or develop diabetes when fed a high-fat diet. This work suggests that it is possible to alter muscle metabolism and body weight in animals by producing this protein in muscle.

Children and adolescents may present with ketoacidosis as the first indication of the disease. Most children and adolescents diagnosed with type 2 diabetes are overweight or obese, insulin resistant, and have a family history of type 2 diabetes. Mothers who have had gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM)[diabetes during pregnancy but disappear after that] need to know that they and their children have an increased lifelong risk for developing type 2 diabetes Undiagnosed type 2 diabetes in children and adolescents may place these young people at early risk for cardiovascular disease.

A patient with type 2 diabetes who is overweight and insulin-resistant may need to have a different carbohydrate-protein balance than a thin patient with type 1 diabetes in danger of kidney disease. Because regulating diabetes is an individual situation, everyone with this condition should get help from a dietary professional in selecting the best method. The American Diabetes Association recommends that people at high risk for type 2 diabetes eat high-fiber (14g fiber for every 1,000 calories) and whole-grain foods.

According to a study just published in the Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine, roughly a third of all children in the United States take nutrient supplements of some kind, mostly a multivitamin/mineral. But the research concluded: so I don’t think we’ll have definitive evidence about multivitamin supplementation one way or the other any time soon. What we can have in the interim is a sound rationale.” This reasoning lends support to supplemention with a few specific nutrients, such omega-3 fatty acids, and calcium, along with the mix of nutrients in a multi. So take supplements if so inclined, but never forget they are supplements, not substitutes.

U.S. scientists have discovered umbilical cord blood might safely preserve insulin production in children newly diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. We hope these cells can either lessen the immune system's attack on the pancreas or possibly introduce stem cells that can differentiate into insulin-producing cells," said pediatric endocrinologist Dr. Michael Haller.

Many studies have shown that diets high in fiber (through cereal, fruits, and vegetables) help people keep weight off and lead healthier lives. The researchers wanted to look at whether dietary fiber intake and glycemic load were related to a woman’s risk for getting gestational diabetes. Studies have implicated for screening regimens for pediatric populations at high risk for T2DM and for therapeutic interventions, including lifestyle measures.

Previous research found that dieters who use an aspartame-based sweetener are more likely to keep the pounds off compared with those who don't use artificial sweeteners. But recent findings question the ability of artificial sweeteners to promote weight loss. They found that young animals that became used to diet foods tended to overeat during meals of regular-calorie food. So, if you learn to associate sweet tastes with few calories, even a high-calorie dessert may fail to fill you up.

Studies show that, throughout the lives of their children, parents play a crucial role in the development of habits to maintain cardiac health, including diet, physical activity and tobacco consumption. The chances that an adolescent will follow a low-fat diet is twice as high if both parents also follow the same diet, according to a study in Norway. Another study showed that involvement by the parents considerably improved the diet and physical activity of children 8 to 11 years old. Other studies show that obese youths have more than an 80 percent chance of being overweight as adults and therefore are at greater risk for heart disease and stroke. Overweight children are three to five times more likely to suffer a heart attack or stroke before age 65 than children of normal weight, while facing an immediate risk of atherosclerosis and a greater probability of developing diabetes.

Soy fits in well to a healthy balanced diet which is important in preventing diabetes -- low in fat, high in fiber and a good source of complex carbohydrates. The key problem in type II diabetes is impairment of insulin action, mainly as a result of excess abdominal adipose tissue - so loss of weight often improves glycaemic control. Soya protein may be having an effect on fat metabolism in the liver and adipose tissue, reducing synthesis of new fatty acids and cholesterol. It is this metabolic effect that may explain the traditional Asian use of black soya in the treatment of diabetes.

The researchers found at-risk children who ate a lot of foods rich in omega-3 were less likely to develop islet auto-immunity - antibodies against the cells in the pancreas that precede full-blown diabetes. This is all omega-3 fatty acids, not just the kind that are found in fish; study stated in the Journal of the American Medical Association. Several studies in animals have suggested that omega-3 fatty acids - which are found in fish, flaxseed oil, walnuts, soybeans and other foods may help.

High stress hormone cortisol (such as meat) producers tend to develop hypertension and carry fat around the abdomen, which increases the likelihood of heart disease and diabetes. Children with hypercholesterolemia consuming diets containing 30% of energy from fat not only grow and develop normally, but they also have decreases in their elevated LDL cholesterol levels

More often, nowadays, babies are over nourished—and not only because of the fabled pregnancy cravings. Women who are overweight when they become pregnant, which is becoming increasingly common, risk developing the abnormally high blood glucose levels associated with gestational diabetes. As this sugar-rich blood passes through the placenta, baby adapts to the sweet life. She might be programmed to crank out too much of a "hunger" hormone, leptin, for example, and her overfed cells may be less sensitive than they should be to insulin, which normally enables cells to use glucose for energy. Both types of hormonal programming may leave her with a hearty appetite and tendency to overeat that are difficult to reverse. Women can move naturally into the safe zone by cutting back on sweets and processed starches like white bread, bagels, and pretzels, says study author Teresa Hillier, and by scheduling in 30 minutes daily of physical activity.

David Ludwig, M.D., Ph.D., from Children's Hospital Boston reports a low-glycemic index diet would likely prevent and treat fatty liver disease in children. He told a low-glycemic index diet [include most vegetables, fruits, beans and unprocessed grains (i.e. whole wheat bread] prevents, fatty liver in humans. He explained sugar comes out of high-glycemic index food in the body; it causes more insulin to be produced, which in turn tells the body to make and store fat. This fat build-up is especially prevalent in the liver. Because the pancreas is the organ that makes insulin, the pancreas then dumps that insulin directly into the liver.

Youngsters at high risk for developing type 1 diabetes might be able to prevent the disease by eating foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, a new study suggests. Reporting recently in the of the Journal of the American Medical Association, researchers from the University of Colorado found that high-risk children with the highest omega-3 intake had up to a 55 percent reduced risk of type 1 diabetes.

"The kids with more omega-3 in their diets were about half as likely to develop type 1 diabetes as those with less," said study author Jill Norris, a professor in the department of preventive medicine and biometrics at the Barbara David Center for Childhood Diabetes at the University of Colorado at Denver and Health Sciences Center.

Omega-3 fatty acids are found in fish, walnuts and certain plant oils, such as canola and olive. Omega-3 fatty acids have anti-inflammatory properties and are believed to help reduce the incidence of heart disease.

Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease in which the body mistakenly attacks the islet cells in the pancreas. Insulin, which regulates blood sugar levels, is produced by the islet cells. In past research, scientists discovered that Norwegian children who were regularly given cod liver oil supplements, which are rich in omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin D, had a lower incidence of type 1 diabetes. It wasn't clear, however, whether the vitamin D or the omega-3 was responsible for the reduced risk.

To assess the affect of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids on the risk of type 1 diabetes, Norris and her colleagues recruited 1,770 children who were at high risk for developing type 1 diabetes, either because they had a family member with the disease or because they had genetic markers that put them at a higher risk for developing type 1 diabetes.

Parents began periodically reporting dietary intake when the children were a year old. The average age at follow-up was 6.2 years. During that time period, 58 children developed type 1 diabetes, according to the study. The researchers found no statistically significant differences in the rate of diabetes based on omega-6 consumption, however, there was a 55 percent reduced risk in those who reported consuming the most omega-3 fatty acids.

Because self-reported dietary information isn't always the most reliable indicator of actual consumption, the researchers conducted an analysis that included 244 children and measured a biomarker of omega-3 consumption from the blood. In this subgroup, the researchers found that omega-3 fatty acid consumption reduced the risk of type 1 diabetes by 37 percent.

Norris said the anti-inflammatory properties of omega-3s may be behind this potentially protective effect. "Inflammation is part of the very early process of diabetes," she explained.

"In type 1 diabetes, there is an inflammatory response that causes [islet] cell destruction, and it may be that omega-3 is a modulator of that inflammation," said Dr. Stuart Weiss, an endocrinologist at New York University Medical Center. Weiss cautioned that this effect may not be permanent, however. "It may just be that omega-3s have delayed the onset of the disease, but the longer those cells function, the better.” Weiss said he hopes the findings prompt a large, randomized, controlled study to confirm whether or not omega-3 consumption can truly prevent diabetes.

Norris said it's too soon to recommend that children, even those at high risk of diabetes, consume more omega-3s for the prevention of diabetes. Weiss said that omega-3 fatty acids are often already part of a healthy diet since they're found in fish, fish oil and plant oils.

Another study of nearly 1,800 children at risk for type 1 diabetes has found that increased consumption of dietary omega-3 fatty acids appears to reduce the risk of the body attacking its own insulin-producing cells, a precursor to this form of the disease, report researchers at the University of Colorado and the University of Florida. They suggested to consider cod liver oil, fortified infant formula and enriched eggs.

Children need to develop confidence that they can successfully change their eating and physical activity patterns. Parents and other caregivers need to be educated on mealtime behaviors that promote the adoption of healthier eating behaviors early in life

Some tips:

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