Type 2 diabetes can be a 'devastating diagnosis' says expert
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Getting your diet right when you’re diabetic can be a tricky balance. You have to eat regularly enough to prevent your blood sugar levels dropping too low, while avoiding any foods causing dangerous blood sugar spikes. In order to manage type 2 diabetes properly, or reduce your risk of developing the condition at all, there are some foods you should cut from your diet right away. How many of these foods do you eat?
Almost five million people in the UK have diabetes, and 90 percent of those have type 2.
Type 2 diabetes is a serious and chronic condition where your pancreas doesn’t function properly, either being unable to create insulin or producing inefficient insulin.
Insulin helps the body to break down glucose and use it as fuel, so when you either can’t produce any insulin, or the insulin you produce doesn’t work, you end up with very high levels of glucose in your bloodstream.
This is known as high blood sugar, and as your blood sugar levels keep climbing you can be at risk of hyperglycaemia.
Having high levels of blood sugar over time can put you at risk of serious complications as a result of type 2 diabetes.
Diabetes complications tend to affect your eyes, heart and feet the most.
In the most severe circumstances, people might have to have their feet amputated, could risk losing their sight and make you more likely to develop heart disease.
To keep your blood sugar regulated, and avoid dangerous spikes, there are certain foods type 2 diabetics should cut from their diet.
Even if you are not diabetic, or you’ve been told you are pre-diabetic or “at risk” of developing diabetes, you should consider cutting down on these foods.
1 – Sugary drinks
Full-fat sugary drinks are not only high in sugar, which is obviously a no-no for diabetics, but are also high in carbohydrates.
Carbohydrates have a dramatic effect on your blood sugar levels because they are broken down into glucose to be absorbed into your bloodstream.
These drinks tend to be high in fructose, which has been linked to insulin resistance.
Try replacing your sugary drink with a low-sugar alternative, like soda water.
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2 – White bread, rice and pasta
These foods are all examples of refined or “white” carbohydrates.
Because these foods are more processed forms of carbohydrates, they tend to be converted into glucose a lot faster, causing blood sugar spikes
It’s impossible to cut out carbohydrates from your diet completely, but by making better-informed choices about the types of carbohydrates you eat, you can avoid dangerously high blood sugar.
Less processed carbohydrates have a higher fibre content and can help regulate blood sugar after eating.
So rather than white bread, try to eat wholemeal brown bread.
Swap white rice for brown rice, and opt for pulses like quinoa instead of pasta.
3 – Flavoured coffees
Exciting coffee flavours tend to be pumped full of sugary syrups.
Some nutritionists say flavoured coffee should be thought of as a dessert rather than a drink, due to their high sugar and carbohydrate content.
Coffee without sugary syrup is fine, so you’ll just have to resist the more indulgent flavours on offer.
4 – Chips
White potatoes are pretty high in carbs as it is, but once you deep-fry them in oil they become a nightmare for diabetics.
Unsurprisingly, no healthy diet will advocate for deep-fried chips.
If you want a lower-carbohydrate option for potatoes, try sweet potato wedges.
Sweet potatoes have a lower glycemic index, and higher fibre content, than regular potatoes.
5 – Crisps
The favourite snack of many Britons, crisps can be high in carbohydrates, saturated fat and salt.
This means they are neither good for diabetics, or for your overall health or waistline.
Often crisps are included as part of a standard lunchtime meal deal, but it’s better to opt for a healthier form of crisp or to only enjoy crisps as a treat every once in a while.
Healthier alternatives to crisps include popcorn or a wholegrain variety.
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