When a person has diabetes, their body is unable to use insulin properly. You need insulin because it is a crucial hormone for the regulation of your blood glucose levels. If you have diabetes, you may have too much glucose (sugar) in your blood.
When left untreated, high blood glucose levels can cause diabetic kidney disease, a condition wherein waste products are not removed effectively from the body. The kidneys of an individual with this condition become overworked because of all the excess sugar that they are trying to process and eliminate from the blood.
Type 2 diabetes, the most common form of the condition, makes up a whopping 90 to 95 percent of all diabetes cases. According to the results of the study, the consumption of junk food and high-fat foods can increase your blood sugar levels just like Type 2 diabetes. (Related: PROVEN: Scientists say a high-fat diet is nutritionally poor and raises the likelihood of disease.)
Together with the other researchers, Dr. Havovi Chichger, the lead study author, discovered that eating too much junk food or foods high in fat "create similar conditions in the body." Dr. Chichger is a senior lecturer in biomedical science at Anglia Ruskin University in the U.K.
For the study, the researchers used rat models that were fed diets of either chow with 60 percent fat for five weeks, or a junk food diet of cheese, chocolate, and marshmallows for eight weeks. The blood sugar levels of the subjects were assessed, along with the diet's effects on different kidney glucose transporters. The scientists then compared the results with the findings from the rats with Type 2 diabetes.
The rats with diabetes had high levels of sodium-glucose linked transporters (SGLTs), glucose transporters (GLUTs), and the corresponding regulatory proteins. These mechanisms aid the body with glucose reabsorption, a kidney process that filters the blood for glucose. If you have too much glucose in your blood, this process may become ineffective.
The rats that had unhealthy diets showed similar elevated SGLT and GLUT levels as the rats with Type 2 diabetes. Because of this, the researchers posit kidney damage risk is just as high in individuals who follow an unhealthy diet.
The scientists involved in the study hope that the study findings can be used to develop new solutions for safely reducing dangerous blood sugar levels. One such diabetic treatment involves blocking kidney glucose transporters to help lower a person's overall blood sugar levels.
Based on the results of this study, your diet has an important role in optimal blood sugar levels and your overall well-being. If you already have Type 2 diabetes, or you wish to lower your risk of diabetes and kidney damage, limit your intake of high-fat foods that can negatively affect your health.
To keep your blood glucose levels and kidney health optimal, follow a diet that incorporates the following foods:
Avoid junk food and foods that are full of unhealthy carbohydrates and starches to reduce your risk of Type 2 diabetes and diabetic kidney disease.