Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes and food

 
Type 2 diabetes is a condition in which the body is unable to effectively regulate and utilise glucose (sugar), resulting in high blood sugar levels.
 
Maintaining blood sugar levels in the healthy range can reduce your risk of developing diabetic complications.
 
Following a healthy, balanced diet and maintaining a healthy weight are key.

Adopt a Mediterranean-style diet

A Mediterranean-style diet can improve blood sugar levels as well as protect your heart health.
 
This way of eating includes:
  • Plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables
  • Slow release carbohydrates including wholegrains (like quinoa, buckwheat,millet) beans, pulses and lentils
  • Fish including 1-2 portions of oily fish a week
  • Healthy unsaturated fats from vegetable sources such as nuts, seeds and olives
  • Eating fewer refined carbohydrates and processed meats
 
Foods labelled as ‘suitable for diabetics’ provide no extra benefit to people with diabetes. They may be higher in fat and calories than their alternatives and may also have a laxative effect.
Mediterranean Diet

What else you can do to manage Type 2 diabetes

If you are overweight, losing weight can be one of the most effective ways to reduce your blood sugar levels by reducing insulin resistance. It can also help reduce your blood pressure and cholesterol, thereby protecting heart health. A Mediterranean-style diet alongside increasing levels of physical activity can support weight loss in many people. Losing 5-10% of current body weight is associated with significant health benefits, whilst greater weight losses of 15kg (often by using meal replacements) can lead to remission of diabetes in some people. Maintaining a healthy, balanced diet and keeping active after weight loss is key to preventing weight regain.
 
Emerging evidence also shows the benefit of a low carbohydrate diet in supporting weight loss and improving blood sugar levels in type 2 diabetes. When following a low carbohydrate diet, it is important to ensure your diet remains balanced.
 
This RYH guide for Type 2 Diabetes is a low carbohydrate plan (less than 130g carbs) which has been balanced to ensure that you won’t miss out on any nutrients.

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