The growing problem of type 2 diabetes: Large-scale study points to food additives causing tremendous harm

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food-additives(NaturalHealth365)  The International Diabetes Foundation predicts that in the next two decades, 783 million individuals will be affected by diabetes.  This accounts for one in 8 adults, indicating a staggering 46% increase in the diabetes rate.  Could food additives be a big part of the problem?

Type 2 diabetes is diagnosed in over 90% of diabetes cases.  In fact, a recent study published in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology highlights that food additives raise the risk of this potentially fatal form of diabetes.

Common food additives are hurting millions of people every year

The study linked above reveals that emulsifiers are increasing the risk of type 2 diabetes.  Emulsifiers are substances used in food production to create stable mixtures of two or more ingredients that normally wouldn’t mix well together.

The more emulsifiers are added to food, the greater the risk of type 2 diabetes.  Follow-up studies planned in the months to come will likely confirm the findings, spurring a new debate on whether food additives should be more tightly regulated.

Aside from keeping such polarized ingredients in unison, emulsifiers are also added to packaged and processed foods to enhance the following qualities:

  • Texture
  • Longevity
  • Taste
  • Aesthetic appeal

Open your pantry, refrigerator, or freezer, and you are sure to find several foods containing emulsifiers.  Examples include many brands of bread, margarine, chocolate, cookies, and ice cream.

Food additives create an unhealthy gut environment

In addition to previous research on emulsifier safety, recent studies, including the one mentioned above, have shed light on additional concerning effects of these additives.  New data suggests that emulsifiers can disrupt the balance of healthy bacteria in the gut, which increases the risk of diabetes.

Furthermore, research indicates that emulsifiers may also contribute to insulin resistance and inflammation, further highlighting potential health risks associated with their consumption.

Here are some of the biggest offenders

The study examined data from 104,139 individuals who were followed for a period of 14 years.  Researchers estimated the intake of foods containing emulsifiers for each participant based on dietary logs, which were completed twice a year at 6-month intervals for nearly 14 years.

After an average follow-up of seven years, the analysis revealed that specific emulsifiers were associated with a higher risk of type 2 diabetes:

  • Gum arabic increased the risk by 3% per 1,000 mg consumed.
  • Carrageenans increased the risk by 3% per 100 mg consumed.
  • Acid esters contained in fatty acids increased the risk by 4% per 100 mg consumed.
  • Sodium citrate increased the risk by 4% per 500 mg consumed.
  • Xanthan gum increased the risk by 8% per 500 mg consumed.
  • Guar gum increased the risk by 11% per 500 mg consumed.
  • Tripotassium phosphate increased the risk by 15% per 500 mg consumed.

Tips to reduce emulsifier intake

Choose whole, unprocessed foods:  Opt for organic, whole foods or those grown at home to minimize exposure to emulsifiers and other additives.

Read food labels:  Check food labels for emulsifiers such as gum arabic, carrageenans, acid esters, sodium citrate, xanthan gum, guar gum, and tripotassium phosphate, and consider reducing their consumption.

Limit processed foods:  Avoid highly processed foods that are often loaded with emulsifiers and other additives.  Instead, focus on fresh, organic foods to support overall health.

Prioritize fruits and vegetables:  Choose fresh organic fruits and vegetables over processed cereals, conventional dairy products, sugary syrups, and pastries to reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes.

Cook at home:  Prepare meals at home using simple ingredients to have more control over what goes into your food and minimize exposure to emulsifiers and other additives.

Choose natural alternatives:  Use natural thickeners and stabilizers such as agar-agar, arrowroot, and gelatin instead of emulsifiers when cooking or baking.

By being mindful of the foods we consume and making conscious choices to reduce our intake of emulsifiers, we can support our overall health and potentially lower the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.  Stay informed about the latest research and recommendations to make informed decisions about your diet and well-being.

Sources for this article include:

Thelancet.com
IDF.org

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