The “western diet” is an unhealthy consequence of modern life, and includes a high content of refined carbohydrates such as white rice, sugary beverages, white bread, and processed foods. The more you consume of these foods and drinks, and the less you “move”, the greater stress you place on your beta cells and increase your risk of developing type 2 diabetes. These foods raise your blood glucose levels quickly, causing a surge in insulin from your beta cells, and with time, this leads to insulin resistance and beta cell exhaustion (insulin depletion).
Why are refined carbohydrates so hazardous to health?
Refined grains, which include foods where the wholegrain has been removed and refined, also have most of the nutrients removed; they have a high GI and are rapidly absorbed, creating a spike in blood glucose. This, in turn, leads to a corresponding increase in insulin being released from the beta cells. This greater demand of insulin over several years leads to insulin resistance and beta cell exhaustion, leading eventually to type 2 diabetes.
Trans-fats, such as those in processed foods are also implicated in the development of type 2 diabetes (6).
Red meat, and particularly processed meat, also increases the risk of diabetes, so needs to be consumed in moderation (9). This may be due to substances such as heam, nitrosamines, or glycosylated end products that may be damaging the beta cells.