Type 2 diabetes is a lifelong condition in which the level of glucose in the blood is too high.
Type 2 diabetes can be controlled by eating a healthy diet and cutting down on certain foods which can cause high blood sugar. Follow these four tips to maintain a healthy diet and keep diabetes under control.
The condition needs to be kept under control, or it can lead to health problems with the heart, eyes, nerves and kidneys.
Medication can help to control type 2 diabetes, but ensuring a healthy diet can also help keep symptoms at bay.
Choose healthier carbs
All carbs affect blood glucose levels, but some are healthier sources than others, so stick to the
healthier options and watch your portion sizes.
Healthier sources include whole grains like brown rice, buckwheat and whole oats, fruit, vegetables, and pulses like chickpeas, beans and lentils.
Eat less salt
Eating lots of salt raises blood pressure, which increases the risk of heart diseases and stroke.
People with diabetes are already more at risk of those conditions, so it’s important to keep blood pressure healthy.
UK guidelines advise eating no more than 6g of salt per day.
Check food labels for salt content, ensuring to pick products that are low in salt, and replace salt when cooking with other herbs and spices.
Eat more fruit and veg
Aim to eat more veg at meal times and have fruit and veg as snacks if you’re peckish in between meals.
“This can help you get the vitamins, minerals and fibre your body needs every day to help keep you healthy,” said the diabetes expert.
Five tasty snack swaps
salt on chips
Cut down on salt and avoid adding it to food (Image: Getty Images)
Fruit and veg
Eat lots of fruit and veg to stay healthy (Image: Getty Images)
Foods to lower blood sugar
Eggs – eating protein rich foods can help to maintain a good blood sugar level
Citrus fruit – oranges and grapefruits are high in vitamins A and C which are powerful antioxidants
Don’t be concerned about the natural sugars in fruit, as these aren’t unhealthy like the added sugar found in chocolate and cakes.
Cut down on added sugar
Cutting down on sugar can be hard, so to begin with swap sugary drinks with water, plain milk or tea without sugar.
Once you’ve got used to smaller swaps, you can start cutting down on other sugary treats too.
“Cutting out these added sugars can help you control your blood glucose levels and help keep your weight down,” said the diabetes organisation.