Type 2 diabetes: Four snacks that could help lower blood sugar

Type 2 diabetes is a lifelong condition that can affect a person’s every day life. It can trigger symptoms including needing to pee a lot, excessive thirst and feeling tired, and if it’s left uncontrolled, more serious health problems can occur. Complications include damage to the eyes, feet, kidneys, nerves, and heart attack and stroke. But one of the best ways to manage blood sugar is by eating a healthy diet.

Evidence has shown snacks with a high fibre content are a good option for type 2 diabetes

The NHS recommends eating a wide range of foods, including a variety of fruit and vegetables and some starchy foods like pasta.

Sugar, fat and salt should also be kept to a minimum, and it’s important to eat breakfast, lunch and dinner every day.

When it comes to snacks, there are four which could lower the risk of type 2 diabetes and improve insulin resistance.

Evidence has shown snacks with a high fibre content are a good option.

A study published in 2018 suggested a high fibre diet can reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes by 20 to 30 per cent. 

This effect came mainly from whole grains or insoluble cereal fibre, which does not break down in the body.

But other studies have shown a combination of insoluble and soluble fibre in the diet can be beneficial. 

Four good sources of fibre include:

  • Fruit and vegetables
  • Nuts
  • Whole grains
  • Legumes

Government guidelines published in July 2015 said the UK’s dietary fibre intake should increase to 30g a day as part of a healthy balanced diet.

It was found most adults are only eating an average of about 18g a day.

The NHS has some simple tips for increasing your fibre intake:

  • Choose a higher-fibre breakfast cereal such as plain wholewheat biscuits or plain shredded whole grain, or porridge as oats are also a good source of fibre.
  • Go for wholemeal or granary breads, or higher fibre white bread, and choose wholegrains like wholewheat pasta, bulgur wheat or brown rice.
  • Go for potatoes with their skins on, such as a baked potato or boiled new potatoes.
  • Add pulses like beans, lentils or chickpeas to stews, curries and salads.
  • Include plenty of vegetables with meals, either as a side dish or added to sauces, stews or curries.
  • Have some fresh or dried fruit, or fruit canned in natural juice for dessert. Because dried fruit is sticky, it can increase the risk of tooth decay, so it’s better if it is only eaten as part of a meal, rather than as a between-meal snack.

Type 2 diabetes symptoms can be difficult to spot because they don’t necessarily make you feel unwell. One symptom which may appear is linked to the eyes. 

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