Diabetes: Best diet to ‘normalise blood sugars’ and lower insulin resistance

Type 2 diabetes can be a 'devastating diagnosis' says expert

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Speaking exclusively to Express.co.uk, Dr Nitu Bajekal – a senior consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist – shared the best diet to help normalise blood sugars and to lower insulin resistance. “Eating predominantly whole plant foods is of significant benefit,” said Dr Bajekal. Packed with fibre, a “colourful and varied whole food plant-based diet” promotes healthy gut bacteria.

In addition, this type of diet helps to “balance hormone levels, reduces inflammation and oxidative stress”.

Furthermore, Dr Bajekal stated it “normalises blood sugars” and “lowers insulin resistance”.

Insulin resistance drives up blood sugar levels, so to get on top of your health, Dr Bajekal recommends the following foods:

  • Brown rice
  • Quinoa
  • Beans
  • Lentils
  • Tofu
  • Young edamame soybeans
  • Tempeh
  • Fruit
  • Vegetables
  • Nuts
  • Seeds
  • Herbs
  • Spices.

People are advised to “aim for two daily portions of minimally processed soya foods, such as tofu, tempeh, soya milk and edamame”.

Dr Bajekal elaborated: “These soya foods are naturally rich in isoflavones, compounds that have oestrogen-like effects.

“[They are also] rich in iron, potassium, B vitamins – and a good source of protein… promoting weight loss.”

The NHS warned that obesity is a significant risk factor for developing type 2 diabetes.

A good indicator as to whether you need to lose weight or not is to take your waist measurement.

The British Heart Foundation noted: “Waist circumference is a good measure of fat around your middle.

“This type of fat builds up around your organs, and is linked to high blood fat levels, high blood pressure and diabetes.”

For men, a waist measurement of 94cm (37in) or more is considered “high risk”; for women, it is 80cm (31.5in) or more.

To lose weight in a healthy manner (if needs be), lose no more than two pound per week.

Dr Bajekal cautioned that people wanting to look after their health need to be wary of red meat and cheese.

“Devoid of fibre” and “high in saturated fat”, these animal products “promote oxidative stress and inflammation”.

Dr Bajekal added: “Avoid or limit trans fats, sugar-sweetened beverages, fruit juices and sugary refined foods, such as cakes and biscuits.”

The doctor warned: “These cause surges of insulin and blood sugar.”

If you have polycystic ovarian syndrome, you are at increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

Thus, in order to minimise your risk, as well as adhering to a plant-based diet, other precautionary steps can help too.

For example, the NHS recommends exercising regularly to help ward off type 2 diabetes.

Dr Nitu Bajekal is the author of Living PCOS Free: How to regain your hormonal health with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome.

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