This year’s World Diabetes Day (14 November), initiated by the International Diabetes Federation (IDF), is raising awareness about the importance of knowing your risk of type 2 diabetes to help delay or prevent the condition
It is also focused on highlighting the impact of diabetes-related complications and the importance of having access to the right information and care to ensure timely treatment and management.
Getting older is one of the major risks for developing type 2 diabetes, as it often goes hand in hand with being overweight and having insulin resistance, impaired glucose tolerance, metabolic syndrome and/or prediabetes, as well as having an increased cardiovascular disease risk.
The good news is that in many cases, nutrition can be key in delaying or preventing type 2 diabetes and its complications.
In fact, within a consensus statement, leading scientists agreed that there is convincing evidence that low glycaemic diets reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes and coronary heart disease, help to control blood glucose for diabetics and can also help to manage weight.
“As well as following a low glycaemic diet, even little dietary adjustments can support blood glucose management,” notes Anke Sentko, VP Regulatory Affairs and Nutrition Communication at BENEO. “For example, this has been shown in a 2-week citizen science study that adopted a real-life conditions approach.”
That means that participants kept to their usual diet and eating habits. The only difference was that they consumed BENEO’s ingredients, namely a drink with a functional carbohydrate (isomaltulose), as well as prebiotic chicory root fibres.
At the end of the study, the results showed that both functional ingredients, independently of each other, supported blood glucose management, promoting improved metabolic health.
“Foods and drinks that support a low glycaemic diet and have a proven low blood glucose response need to be easily recognisable to consumers,” adds Anke. “On pack claims are an effective way to achieve this as they both inform and educate consumers.”
Ingredients such as BENEO’s prebiotic chicory root fibres, inulin and oligofructose, alternative sugar isomaltulose (Palatinose) and sugar replacer ISOMALT, as well as the dietary fibre barley β-glucan (Orafti β-Fit), can help to lower the blood glucose response and the insulin response — and all have approved health claims in the EU related to this effect.
“It is never too early or late to make healthy choices. The important thing is to take the first step towards more healthy nutrition – and one decisive pillar to promoting a healthy lifestyle is through blood glucose management,” Anke concludes.
“By making better use of relevant claims on pack, manufacturers and retailers alike can encourage consumers to choose products that will help them prevent or delay the onset of diabetes, as well as support the management of the disease.”