Not Just Obesity! Dangerous Diseases Caused by Poor Habits

I ate something high in calories again today...

I'm sure many of you have felt that sense of guilt before. 


However, eating high-calorie, high-fat, high-sugar foods, relying on instant meals, or overeating can also lead to frightening diseases.


Our eating habits are usually not just for today or tomorrow – once they slip, they can linger for a very long time, so we need to be careful.

Today, we'll discuss what can happen if you continue with such poor eating habits.   

If any of this rings true for you, we'll also cover how to improve your habits.


Poor dietary habits are a contributing factor to one of the three major diseases – diabetes. Many young people don't worry about it much, but continuing with an unhealthy diet and lack of exercise means anyone can develop this condition. And diabetes is actually preventable.


The following lifestyle factors can contribute to high blood sugar levels:

1. Unhealthy diet:

A diet high in calories, fat, and sugar, or excessive portion sizes - an unhealthy diet can cause high blood sugar.

2. Lack of exercise:

Insufficient exercise reduces opportunities to burn glucose for energy, potentially raising blood sugar.

3. Obesity:

Being overweight or obese can cause insulin resistance, thereby increasing blood sugar levels. 

4. Stress:

Stress promotes the release of stress hormones which can raise blood sugar.

5. Sleep deprivation:

Poor sleep can disrupt hormonal balances and potentially increase blood sugar.

6. Smoking:

The harmful substances in tobacco smoke can constrict blood vessels and raise blood sugar levels.


Not only do these factors individually impact blood sugar, but they can interact and compound each other's effects. Establishing healthy lifestyle habits is therefore crucial for managing blood sugar.


So what habits can help prevent diabetes? 

According to the Japan Diabetes Society, regular exercise increases insulin sensitivity and aids blood sugar control. Developing an exercise routine, even for a short time daily, seems beneficial.


As obesity is a risk factor for diabetes, exercising can also help maintain a healthy weight – a double benefit for diabetes prevention. Proper weight management also helps improve insulin resistance.


Diet is perhaps the most important factor. Fiber-rich vegetables and fruits can slow the rise in blood sugar levels and reduce diabetes risk. Notably, the chlorogenic acid in cabbage has antioxidant and blood sugar suppressing effects. Cabbage is also high in fiber, vitamin C, vitamin K and other nutrients (per the 2022 Standard Tables of Food Composition in Japan).


Finally, let's look at some cabbage-based ingredients and a simple recipe you can start incorporating today:


3Vegetables That Pair Well With Cabbage:


- Onions: Like cabbage, they contain chlorogenic acid for a potential synergistic effect.

- Broccoli: High in fiber which may help regulate blood sugar spikes.  

- Avocado: Contains healthy plant fats that could increase insulin sensitivity.



Purple Cabbage & Red Onion Salad Recipe:



200g cabbage, 1/2 onion, lemon juice, olive oil, salt & pepper


1. Thinly slice the cabbage and onion 

2. Combine in a bowl and dress with lemon juice, olive oil, salt & pepper


This colorful salad also makes a great bento box addition.


Most people probably think "diabetes has nothing to do with me." But can you confidently say you maintain a healthy diet? We all crave high-calorie treats or instant foods sometimes. However, if you generally focus on healthy eating habits, the occasional indulgence is easier to get back on track from. Simply being mindful of how your food choices impact your health makes a difference. The next time you eat cabbage, you can feel good knowing you're slightly reducing your diabetes risk. It's about gradually incorporating more foods like that into your diet.