Type 2 diabetes causes a person’s blood sugar (glucose) levels to become too high because it affects the body’s response to insulin – a hormone produced by the pancreas that controls glucose levels in the blood. If blood sugar levels aren’t controlled and stay too high, this can lead to a number of problems including kidney failure, nerve damage, heart disease and stroke.
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A person’s risk of developing type 2 diabetes can be increased by several things, such as eating a poor diet.
But eating a healthy diet can help manage blood sugar levels.
The NHS advises there’s nothing you cannot eat if you have type 2 diabetes, but certain foods should be limited.
It states: “You should eat a wide range of foods – including fruit, vegetables and some starchy foods like pasta, keep sugar, fat and salt to a minimum, and eat breakfast, lunch and dinner every day – do not sip meals.”
Individual foods and drinks have also been found to control blood sugar levels – one being coffee.
A study led by the Harvard School of Public Health showed people who increased the amount of coffee they drank by more than one cup per day over a four-year period had an 11 percent lower risk of type 2 diabetes than those who made no changes to their coffee intake.
The study also found those who decreased their coffee consumption by more than one cup per day increased their chance of developing type 2 diabetes by 17 percent.
Lead author Shilpa Bhupathiraju said: “Our findings confirm those of previous studies that showed that higher coffee consumption was associated with lower type 2 diabetes risk.
“Most importantly, they provide new evidence that changes in coffee consumption habit can affect type 2 diabetes risk in a relatively short period of time.”
Harvard scientists previously looked at 28 studies around the world, and their analysis highlighted the risk of developing diabetes with drinking no coffee or different amounts of coffee.
A total of 1,109,272 participants were studies, of whom 45,335 had diabetes.
The study followed them from 10 months to 20 years, and found both caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee lowers the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
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But the NHS does advise drinking more than four cups of coffee a day may increase blood pressure.
It says: “If you’re a big fan of coffee, tea or other caffeine-rich drinks such as cola and some energy drinks, consider cutting dow.
“It’s fine to drink tea and coffee as part of a balanced diet, but it’s important that these drinks are not your main or only source of fluid.”
Blood Pressure UK says 80 percent of people with type 2 diabetes have high blood pressure.
Other ways to control blood sugar levels
Alongside eating a healthy diet, being active ca help lower blood sugar.
Health officials recommend aiming for 2.5 hours of activity a week.
The NHS advises: “You can be active anywhere as long as what you’re doing gets you out of breath.
‘This could be fast walking, climbing stairs, and doing more stenos housework or gardening.”
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