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Fast food is among the causes of Type 2 diabetes, which has been diagnosed in
over 500,000 Israelis, while an equal number remain undiagnosed and others
express symptoms of metabolic syndrome – a precursor to diabetes.
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serving of junk food shortens the life of Israelis,” said Prof. Itamar Raz,
chairman of the National Diabetes Council and head of the diabetes unit at
Hadassah University Medical Center in Jerusalem’s Ein Kerem.
Diabetes Day will be marked here and abroad on Sunday.
A 10-year Boston
University study, focusing on 44,000 women aged 30 to 69, showed that long-term
consumption of junk food such as hamburgers, fried chicken and fish, as well as
french fries, sweet Chinese food and other high-fat, high-calorie, processed
foods significantly increases the risk of Type 2 diabetes, in which the pancreas
is unable to produce enough insulin to metabolize blood sugar or the insulin
that exists is not efficient at metabolism.
That study and many others
will be presented on Monday, November 22, at the Tel Aviv Fairgrounds through
the initiative of the national council and the Juvenile Diabetes
Type 2 diabetes can in many cases be prevented with a switch
to a more healthful diet and regular exercise. Type 1 diabetes – also known as
juvenile diabetes – is an autoimmune disease that usually begins in children,
with the body’s immune system destroying the beta cells of the pancreas until
they no longer produce insulin.
Some 2,500 Israelis die of complications
of diabetes every year. In a single year, a quarter of diabetes patients are
hospitalized, says the national council.
Among the complications are
kidney disease, blindness, limb amputation, heart disease and stroke. But
careful control of sugar values along with that of blood pressure and blood fats
can reduce or even prevent the advance of complications, said Dr. Ilana Herman
Boehm, head of the diabetes clinic at Beersheba’s Soroka University Medical
According to estimates by foreign experts, between 30 and 40
percent of all adults will develop diabetes at some time in their lives due to
the threat of obesity, lack of exercise and poor diet.
Olga Raz, head of
the clinical dietitians’ unit at Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center, says that a
diet rich in complex carbohydrates and whole grains can prevent diabetes and
improve sugar and insulin balance in diabetics. These types of carbohydrates
have a low glycemic index, thus preventing wild irregularity in blood sugar
levels. She advises that diabetics eat small, frequent meals every three to four
hours rather than only three larger meals per day.
Diabetics can use both
olive and canola oils and can eat an unlimited amount of vegetables of all
colors, Raz said. She recommends drinking a lot of water and unsugared drinks –
artificial sweeteners are permissible – rather than fruit juices or sodas.