Type 2 diabetes is a condition which affects the body’s response to insulin – a hormone that regulates the amount of blood sugar in the blood. The body may not produce enough insulin and this causes a person’s blood sugar level to become too high. If type 2 diabetes is left untreated or uncontrolled, severe health complications can occur, including kidney failure, nerve damage, heart disease and stroke. Eating a healthy diet is one way to manage blood sugar levels, but when it comes to breakfast, what foods are considered best?
A number of studies have shown the link between berries and type 2 diabetes
Experts say theres nothing you cannot eat if you have type 2 diabetes, but certain foods should be limited.
Sugar, fat and salt should be kept to a minimum, but it’s important to eat a wide range of foods, including some starchy foods like pasta, as well as fruit and vegetables.
Certain fruits have also been found to hold blood sugar lowering properties, in particular berries.
A number of studies have shown the link between berries and type 2 diabetes.
One study, published in the Journal of Nutrition, indicated the benefits of berries are due to a group of compounds called anthocyanins.
The study showed the consumption of 160mg of anthocyanin twice a day led to a 8.5 per cent reduction in fasting plasma glucose levels, 13 per cent less insulin resistance, and 23.4 per cent increase of adiponectin, a hormone that increases insulin sensitivity.
Berries are also a good source of vitamin C and fibre and don’t contain many carbohydrates – carbohydrates have the greatest impact on blood sugar control.
Berries include blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, raspberries and cherries, and these can easily be incorporated into breakfast.
If they’re not eaten alone, a popular way to eat berries at breakfast is with oats.
Beta glucans, the soluble fibres from oats, have demonstrated benefits for blood sugar control.
In people with type 2 diabetes and severe insulin resistance, a four-week dietary intervention with oatmeal resulted in a 40 per ent reduction in the insulin dosage needed for stabilising blood sugar levels.
Berries could also be added to yoghurt, as this has also demonstrated a positive impact on blood sugar levels.
A study led by Harvard School of Public Health researchers found higher consumption of yoghurt was associated with a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes.
Alongside eating a healthy diet, keeping active can help manage blood sugar levels.
The NHS advises: “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 or doing more strenuous housework or gardening.”
As well as eating berries, oats and yoghurt for breakfast, a certain drink could help lower blood sugar levels.
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