This Morning: Type 2 diabetes can be 'devastating' says expert
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Diabetes UK explains: “Lots of factors can contribute to someone being at risk of or diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. There are some things that you can change and some you can’t.” Indeed, one thing to look out for is any unhealthy eating habits. Your blood sugar levels, also known as blood glucose levels, are a measurement that show how much glucose you have in your blood. Diet can help manage your levels.
The charity suggests that people wanting to prevent type 2 diabetes choose higher fibre carbs.
It explains: “Eating white bread, white rice and sugary breakfast cereals known as refined carbs are linked with an increased risk of type 2 diabetes.
“But wholegrains such as brown rice, revatio primary pulmonary hypertension wholewheat pasta, wholemeal flour, wholegrain bread and oats are linked to a reduced risk so choose these instead.
“When you’re out shopping remember to check food labels to see if a food is high fibre. Compare different foods to find the ones with the most fibre in them.”
The Mayo Clinic says dietary fibre, which is found mainly in fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes, is probably best known for its ability to prevent or relieve constipation.
But it adds that foods containing fibre can provide other health benefits as well, such as helping to maintain a healthy weight.
And as well as lowering your risk of diabetes, it also lowers your risk of heart disease and some types of cancer.
It advises: “High-fibre foods are good for your health. But adding too much fibre too quickly can promote intestinal gas, abdominal bloating and cramping. Increase fibre in your diet gradually over a few weeks. This allows the natural bacteria in your digestive system to adjust to the change.”
The Mayo Clinic also says that people should drink plenty of water. This is because fibre works best when it absorbs water, making your stool soft and bulky.
The NHS says most of us need to eat more fibre and have fewer added sugars in our diet.
It adds: “Eating plenty of fibre is associated with a lower risk of heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and bowel cancer.”
The health body says government guidelines published in July 2015 say our dietary fibre intake should increase to 30g a day, as part of a healthy balanced diet.
As most adults are only eating an average of about 18g a day, we need to find ways of increasing our intake, says the health body.
The NHS says it is important to get fibre from a variety of sources, as eating too much of one type of food may not provide you with a healthy balanced diet.
The British Diabetic Association says: “Fibre is essential for your gut to work normally. It increases good bacteria which supports your immunity against inflammatory disorders and allergies.”
The glycaemic index (GI) is a rating system for foods containing carbohydrates. It shows how quickly each food affects your blood sugar (glucose) level when that food is eaten on its own.
Some low GI foods, such as wholegrain foods, fruit, vegetables, beans and lentils, are foods we should eat as part of a healthy, balanced diet.
However, “using the glycaemic index to decide whether foods or combinations of foods are healthy can be misleading”, says the NHS.
Diabetes.co.uk says: “The dietary advice generally given to people with diabetes is not much different to the dietary advice for people without diabetes.
“The main issues to consider are how sharply different foods are likely to impact on your blood glucose levels.”
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