Type 2 diabetes is a condition which develops when the body doesn’t produce enough insulin to function properly or the body’s cells don’t react to insulin. Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas that allows the body to use sugar from carbohydrates and helps keep blood sugar levels from getting too high.
If blood sugar levels aren’t controlled properly and stay too high it can lead to a number of problems, including kidney failure, never damage, foot ulcers, heart disease and stroke.
But blood sugar can be controlled by some simple lifestyle changes, such as eating a healthy diet.
The NHS advises: “There’s nothing you cannot eat if you have type 2 diabetes, but you’ll have to limit certain foods.
“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 skip meals.”
When it comes to the first meal of the day, breakfast, one meal which could help keep blood sugar levels in check is kedgeree.
Kedgeree is a popular breakfast dish which typically consists of flaked fish, boiled rice, hard-boiled eggs and curry powder.
Diabetes UK recommends a recipe which includes fresh salmon and smoked paprika instead of smoked haddock which is high in salt – too much salt could increase a person’s diabetes risk.
Fatty fish like salmon is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids DHA and EPA.
Getting enough of these fats on a regular basis is important for diabetics who have an increased risk of heart disease and stroke.
The capsaicin in paprika may help manage diabetes because it my influence genes involved in blood sugar control and inhibit enzymes that break down sugar in the body.
It may also improve insulin sensitivity.
A four-week study involving 42 pregnant women with diabetes, taking a daily 5mg capsaicin supplement significantly decreased post-meal blood sugar levels compared with a placebo.
Eggs have also been shown to have a positive impact on blood sugar levels.
A study from 2018 suggested that regularly eating eggs could improve fasting blood glucose in people with pre diabetes or type 2 diabetes.
The researchers in this study suggested eating one egg per day could reduce a person’s risk of diabetes.
White rice can have a negative impact on blood sugar levels, so other types of rice should be considered.
A study in the British Medical Journal found people who eat high levels of white rice may have an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
This is because short-grain white rice has a high GI (glycemic index) – a measure of how quickly food raises blood sugar levels.
Basmati, brown and wild rice have GI scores in the moderate range so are considered better options.
Alongside eating a healthy diet, being active is recommended.
The NHS says: “Physical exercise helps lower your blood sugar level. You should aim for 2.5 hours of activity a week.
“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 strenuous housework or gardening.”
Losing weight if you’re overweight will also make it easier for your body to lower blood sugar.
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