This Morning: Type 2 diabetes can be 'devastating' says expert
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Almost 14 million Britons have been identified as being high risk for developing type 2 diabetes, a condition which if left unmanaged can lead to severe complications including organ failure and leg amputations. However, by making changes to your diet you can turn back the clock on high blood sugar and your risk of diabetes. What changes should you make to your diet today?
Risk factors for developing type 2 diabetes can include being overweight and eating a high-sugar and high-carbohydrate diet.
So, those who are at risk of developing the condition are advised to make adjustments to their diet in order to reduce the likelihood of being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.
You can reduce your risk of developing diabetes by losing weight, which is why healthier choices are encouraged, and eating less sugar to prevent high blood sugar levels.
If you’d like to reduce your risk of developing diabetes, you can start by making just five small changes to your diet, starting today.
1 – No more fizzy drinks
When it comes to reducing your risk of diabetes, high sugar foods are the enemy.
Sugary drinks like fizzy drinks and some fruit juices and smoothies have a high sugar content, meaning after you drink them your blood sugar spikes.
These drinks are also high in calories, which can cause you to gain weight.
Replace sugary drinks with water – you can add a slice of lemon or some chopped berries to the water to give it some natural flavour.
2 – Choose healthier carbs
When you eat carbohydrates, your body breaks them down and converts them into glucose for energy.
Because of how carbohydrates are processed, this can cause your blood sugar to spike after eating high-carb meals or snacks.
Refined carbohydrates – such as white bread, rice and pasta – are particularly high in carbohydrates.
You can use the glycaemic index to choose foods which are lower in carbohydrates, but a general rule is to choose carbs with higher fibre.
This is because fibre slows digestion, so makes the blood sugar spikes less dramatic.
Healthier choices of carbohydrate with higher fibre content include brown rice, wholewheat pasta, wholegrains and oats.
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3 – Cut down red and processed meat
Getting enough protein is key to feeling satisfied and makes you less likely to rely on carbohydrates to fill you up.
However, the type of protein you choose is important, and red or processed meats are not recommended for those at risk of diabetes.
Instead, choose healthier protein sources, such as eggs, chicken, fish and lentils.
4 – Get plenty of fruit and vegetables
If you struggle with satisfying your sugar cravings, fruit can be a great way to get something sweet without sending your blood sugar soaring.
Be sure to check how much fruit you’re allowed, as if eaten in high quantities it may cause high blood sugar.
However some fruits and vegetables recommended for those at risk of type 2 diabetes are apples, grapes, berries and leafy green vegetables like spinach.
5 – Choose healthy fats
Contrary to what you may think, fat does not actually make you fat.
Your body needs fat, but you should ensure you’re eating healthy fats.
These include the fats found in oily fish, like salmon, unsalted nuts, avocado and olive oil.
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