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Nutritionists share health tips to prevent Jordan’s increasing obesity rates

By Maria Weldali - Nov 11,2021 - Last updated at Nov 11,2021

Foods containing fibre, such as whole grains, fruits and vegetables, should be included in the diet plans of those with or without diabetes because they provide vitamins, minerals and fiber, according to a nutritionist (Photo courtesy of Unsplash)

AMMAN —  As World Diabetes Day draws near, nutritionists share recommendations and best practices for preventing and managing diabetes.

 

“People can manage their diabetes by making healthy decisions and having a balanced diet,” Amani Omar, a Jordanian nutritionist, told The Jordan Times on Thursday.

 

Omar also said that nutrition is an integral part of one’s diabetes management, noting that most people are not aware that sugar is not only found in sweets, but is in many foods, such as pasta sauces, ready-made meals and drinks.

 

Foods containing fibre, such as whole grains, fruits and vegetables, should be included in the diet plans of those with or without diabetes because they provide vitamins, minerals and fiber.

 

Diabetes is a chronic, metabolic disease characterised by elevated levels of blood glucose (or blood sugar), which over time can lead to serious damage to the heart, blood vessels, eyes, kidneys and nerves, according to the World Health Organisation’s website. 

 

The most common is type 2 diabetes, usually found in adults, which occurs when the body becomes resistant to insulin or does not make enough insulin.

Type 1 diabetes, once known as juvenile diabetes or insulin-dependent diabetes, is a chronic condition in which the pancreas produces little to no insulin by itself, the website says.

 

The website adds that about 422 million people worldwide have diabetes, particularly in low-and middle-income countries, and 1.5 million deaths are directly attributed to diabetes each year.

 

Jordan is expected to see increasing rates of diabetes over the next 30 years, according to findings published in Scientific Reports by the Nature Journal, which also showed that most diabetes cases in the Kingdom are due to the country’s widespread obesity.

 

Aya Rashed, a Jordanian nutritionist told The Jordan Times that “excessive sugar consumption is a key contributing factor to being overweight or obese and increases the likelihood and prospect of diabetes”.

 

Sugar-sweetened beverages and sugary snacks should be reduced to manage one’s sugar levels, Rashed said, adding that instead of having juices and canned soft drinks, people should opt for water with natural flavourings.

 

“Simple changes in our lifestyle can dramatically reduce the amount of our sugar intake,” she expressed.

She pointed out that people should be aware that foods with reduced fats actually contain more sugar; therefore, checking labels is always important.

 

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