Type 2 diabetes can be a 'devastating diagnosis' says expert
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Type 2 diabetes is a chronic condition characterised by unstable blood sugar levels. This volatile mechanism can be attributed to poor insulin production, which causes blood sugar levels to rise. Fortunately, you can mimic and enhance insulin sensitivity by modifying your diet.
Certain dietary decisions can cause blood sugar levels to spike so it is best to avoid them or reduce your intake.
The amount of carbohydrate you eat has the biggest effect on your blood glucose levels after eating.
Fruit is generally a safer bet – a portion of fruit, such as a medium apple, generally contains about 15 to 20g carbs.
In contrast, a chocolate muffin has 55g carbs and a 500ml ordinary fizzy drink has 54g carbs.
However, “some people find that it is easy to overdo the dried fruit”, warns Diabetes UK.
“If you consider a serving of dried fruit is only a tablespoon and packs in 20g carbs total sugar, you can see how easily this happens.”
According to the health body, it is very unlikely that you need to reduce your fruit intake but you could keep a food diary to check how often and how much fruit you are eating.
“Many people eat fruit infrequently, but tend to have larger portions when they do eat them,” it notes.
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General rules to lower blood sugar
Following the glycaemic index (GI) can help you to steer clear of the worst carbs.
GI is a framework devised that tells us how quickly the food we eat raises blood glucose levels.
Foods with a higher GI release glucose more quickly than foods with a lower GI which release glucose slowly and steadily.
If you’re concerned about your sugar levels, go for low GI food like meat, eggs and seafood.
When it comes to carbs, choose vegetables, fruit, whole grains, sweet potatoes and pulses which also have low GI ratings.
Exercise is also integral to blood sugar control.
“Physical exercise helps lower your blood sugar level. You should aim for 2.5 hours of activity a week,” advises the NHS.
According to the health body, you can be active anywhere as long as what you’re doing gets you out of breath.
This could be:
- Fast walking
- Climbing stairs
- Doing more strenuous housework or gardening.
Type 2 diabetes – symptoms to spot
Many people have type 2 diabetes without realising. This is because symptoms do not necessarily make you feel unwell.
Symptoms of type 2 diabetes include:
- Peeing more than usual, particularly at night
- Feeling thirsty all the time
- Feeling very tired
- Losing weight without trying to
- Itching around your penis or vagina, or repeatedly getting thrush
- Cuts or wounds taking longer to heal
- Blurred vision.
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