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8 easy health tips for people with type 2 diabetes

Type 2 diabetes occurs when your body can no longer control the amount of sugar in your blood. It can lead to a number of complications, if it’s not managed properly, including heart disease, sight loss and nerve damage.

The number of people diagnosed with the condition has risen by 54% in last decade. And experts are warning that type 2 diabetes is fast becoming one of the biggest health crises of our time – with 12 million people at risk of developing the condition.

If you’ve been recently diagnosed, it’s easy to feel daunted. But help is at hand. We asked pharmacist Anshu Bhimbat LloydsPharmacy about the best ways to work with your doctor to manage your type 2 diabetes (and even ‘reverse’ the condition in some cases).

He says: “There are a few things that you can do to help manage diabetes and make it a part of your day to day life. Small lifestyle changes can make living with type 2 diabetes easier, delay the progression and support a healthier lifestyle. In some cases, dietary changes and weight loss can even help reverse the insulin sensitivity that people with type 2 diabetes experience.”

Here are the tips he gives to patients:

1. Cut down on carbohydrates

Carbs aren’t the enemy – we all need them to survive. But the type and amount you consume can make a difference to your condition. Diabetes UK suggests these ways of including good carbohydrates in your diet, for instance:

  • Choose wholegrain breads and cereals.
  • Have fruit whole, rather than as a juice. Eating an apple with the skin on, for example, will provide more fibre than drinking a glass of apple juice.
  • Try quinoa and couscous as an alternative to pasta.

Bhimbat says: “A low carbohydrate diet is highly recommended for people living with type 2 diabetes as it will lower the amount of insulin that the body needs to produce with research showing that it can even put type 2 diabetes into remission. Cutting down on carbohydrates alongside other healthy lifestyle and dietary changes, can reduce blood sugar levels into a non-diabetic range.”

2. Have regular health checks

It’s so important to get your health regularly monitored by your doctor or local pharmacist because type 2 diabetes can put you at risk of other conditions too.

“People with diabetes can be at greater risk of developing cardiovascular diseases therefore it’s important to get an annual check of your blood pressure. Poor cholesterol control can also lead to cardiovascular disease. However, a regular check will allow you to understand your levels and make appropriate dietary and lifestyle changes, to reduce any other future health complications,” says Bhimbat.


3. Get acquainted with GIs

As we mentioned before, no one should be cutting carbs out of their diet completely, knowing about the type of carbs that are likely to affect your blood sugar the most is a good shout. It’s all down to something called the Glycaemic Index (GI) – it can tell you which foods will make your blood sugar spike (and these are the ones you want to try and avoid).

“GI measures the effect foods containing carbs have on blood glucose levels and where possible you should avoid foods with a high GI as it means its carbs are absorbed quickly, which can raise blood glucose. High GI foods include white bread, potatoes and some breakfast cereals, low GI foods include sweet potatoes and yam, beans, lentils, oatmeal and granary bread, therefore try and substitute high GI foods to low GI.”

Article source: http://www.netdoctor.co.uk/healthy-living/a28660/reverse-type-2-diabetes-diet/

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