Eating food quickly increases risk of type 2 diabetes

People who eat their food quickly are two and a half times more likely to develop type 2 diabetes than people who eat slowly, according to a study presented at the joint International Congress of Endocrinology and European Congress of Endocrinology in Florence, Italy.

A research team from the Lithuanian University of Health Sciences collected data on more than 230 newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes patients and more than 460 control subjects without the disease.

Participants completed questionnaires rating their eating speed compared to others. They also gave body measurements and disclosed other possible risk factors for the disease.

Researchers found that faster eating habits increased the risk of type 2 diabetes by about 252 percent. They also found that those cases had a higher body mass index and significantly lower education level compared to the control group.

The researchers reached these findings after adjusting for other risk factors such as family history, education, physical activity, body mass index, waist circumference, cigarette smoking and plasma triglyceride levels.

Eating slow may help with weight control, according to the American Dietetic Association. It take about 20 minutes for the brain to register that the stomach is full, so eating slowly may help people reach satiety with a smaller amount of food.

“The prevalence of type 2 diabetes is increasing globally and becoming a world pandemic,” said Dr. Lina Radzeviciene of Lithuanian University of Health Sciences and lead researcher of the study. “It appears to involve interaction between susceptible genetic backgrounds and environmental factors. It’s important to identify modifiable risk factors that may help people reduce their chances of developing the disease.”

In previous studies, Radzeviciene’s team found that four or more cups of coffee a day significantly decreased the risk of type 2 diabetes. The team had also found that smoking and eating more than five eggs a week increased the risk of developing the disease.

Healthy eating plan
Eating a healthy diet can help people with diabetes manage their blood glucose levels and help others possibly avoid developing type 2 diabetes, according to Mayo Clinic.

When people eat excess calories and fat, the body produces extra glucose in the blood. This can lead to hyperglycemia and other serious problems over time including nerve, kidney and heart damage.

Medical nutrition therapy for diabetes involves eating nutritious foods in moderate amounts and sticking to regular mealtimes. It’s naturally rich in nutrients, low in fat and calories, and focuses on fruits, vegetables and whole grains. A diabetes diet is the best eating plan for most everyone, according to Mayo Clinic.

Nutritious foods to consider include healthy carbohydrates like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes and low-fat dairy products.

A healthy diet also includes foods rich in dietary fiber, which decreases the risk of heart disease and helps control blood sugar levels. Foods include wheat bran, whole-wheat flour, legumes, nuts, fruits and vegetables.

Mayo Clinic also recommends eating heart-healthy fish at least twice a week. Cod, tuna and halibut have less total fat than meat and poultry. Fish like salmon, mackerel and herring are rich in omega-3 fatty acids that lower blood fats called triglycerides.

Foods high in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats can help lower cholesterol levels as well. These include avocados, almonds, pecans, walnuts, olives and canola, olive and peanut oils. They should be eaten sparingly due to the high calories in fats.

Sources: European Society of Endocrinology, Mayo Clinic, American Dietetic Association

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