Diabetes diet: Four common foods to cut down on to lower your risk of symptoms
Type 2 diabetes can be a 'devastating diagnosis' says expert
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Diabetes impacts an estimated 4.9 million people in the UK according to Diabetets.org. Of these, around 90 percent are of type two diabetes, which can be caused by certain dietary choices.
The NHS describes type two diabetes as a “common condition that causes the level of sugar (glucose) in the blood to become too high.”
Type two diabetes can occur for a number of reasons, including being overweight, leading a sedimentary lifestyle or if the condition runs in your family.
However, eating certain foods can raise your blood sugar and insulin levels, which might increase your risk of diabetes over time.
In some cases, sugar and certain carbohydrates are linked to increased risk – particularly if you notice they are leading to a large weight gain.
While people with diabetes do not necessarily need to eliminate “risk” foods from their diet altogether, experts recommend following a diet plan that is tailored around the condition.
The NHS said: “There’s nothing you cannot eat if you have type 2 diabetes, but you’ll have to limit certain foods.”
This may mean reducing portions of certain foods or only eating some foods on occasion.
However, if people prefer to cut out risk foods and find it works for their lifestyle, this is also fine.
People who are at an increased risk of type two diabetes may also want to consider reducing their consumption of certain foods.
The NHS adds: “If you need to change your diet, it might be easier to make small changes every week.”
Which common foods can impact people with type two diabetes?
Some breakfast cereals
Cereal can be a tasty way to start the day, but it is important that you are aware of the exact ingredients in your morning bowl.
Although some cereal brands package the product to appear healthy, they can be surprisingly high in sugar.
Many cereals are also heavily processed and don’t contain high levels of protein.
Instead of eating cereal every day for breakfast, experts instead recommend eating a protein-packed, low carb breakfast to keep blood sugar and hunger under control such as boiled eggs or chia seed pudding.
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White bread, rice and pasta
Bread, rice and pasta made from white flour can actually have a negative impact on blood sugar.
According to a 2018 study, high carbohydrate foods were found to raise blood sugar.
Furthermore, processed carbohydrates often do not contain suitable amounts of fibre which helps to slow the absorption of sugar into the bloodstream, according to Healthline.
However, that does not mean people with type two diabetes but eliminate all pasta.
In fact, the NHS recommends people do eat “some starchy foods like pasta” as part of a wide-ranging diet – including plenty of fruit and vegetables.
Whole wheat, fortified or gluten-free bread and pasta are recommended for people with diabetes.
Similarly, it is best to choose brown or wild rice as these have higher fibre contents than white rice.
French fries or salty chips are undeniably a mouth-watering treat, but one which all people should eat in moderation.
For those with type two diabetes, however, you may want to find an alternative snack or side dish.
According to the nutritional website Healthy Eating: “A small, 85-gram serving of fast-food french fries contains 33 grams of carbohydrates, including three grams of fibre.
“When counting carbs, fibre is often subtracted from the total carb count since it isn’t digested, leaving 30g of carbs for this serving.
“One carb serving for a diabetic is 15g of carbohydrate, so each small serving of french fries counts as two carbohydrate servings.”
This amount of carbohydrates can cause blood glucose levels to spike.
Furthermore, potatoes that are fried and doused in salt can also increase the risk of inflammation and disease, impacting the arteries and heart.
Fruit juice is often considered to be a healthy beverage and a great way to add a vitamin boost to your morning, but it can have an undesirable impact on blood sugar.
In some cases, fruit juice that has added sugar can be higher in content than fizzy soft drinks.
Even natural fruit juice is high in sugar, however, due to the high fructose content.
According to a 2014 study, fructose can lead to insulin resistance, obesity, and heart disease.
Diabetets.co.uk states: “Fruit juice contains a large amount of sugar which raises blood sugar levels very quickly. Therefore, people with diabetes are usually best to avoid drinking fruit juice.”
Instead, the experts advise eating whole fruit, rather than consuming your five-a-day via juice or smoothie.
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