Five ways to support a diabetic diet

Diabetes is an increasing health problem in the UK and brings with a myriad of other health problems; however, it is manageable. Dr Sarah Brewer sheds some light on the matter

The NHS is drawing up radical plans to introduce very calorie-restricted diets for diabetes sufferers that are overweight. Research funded by Diabetes UK found that half of type 2 diabetics on the trial were in remission within a year. However, it’s hard to stick to a very low-calorie diet when you have high blood sugar levels.

Diabetes Type 2 strikes when insulin in the pancreas does not work properly or the pancreas does not make enough insulin. This causes a rise in glucose levels in the blood which, if untreated, can lead to heart disease and strokes, kidney disease, liver failure, blindness and damage to nerve endings in the feet.

It’s important to manage type 2 diabetes properly, Dr Sarah Brewer – working in association with CuraLin shares some guidance.

1. Exercise

Doctor’s will support weight loss, often with referral to a dietician, and there are moves for GPs to also ‘prescribe’ exercise such as those offered by local Park Run schemes. NICE guidelines recommend at least 150 minutes (2.5 hours) of moderate intensity physical activity per week, such as brisk walking or cycling (in bouts of 10 minutes or more); or, 75 minutes of vigorous intensity activity (such as running or playing football) spread over the week.

2. Herbal support

Some GPs may also be willing to support herbal medicines that can improve glucose levels, such as CuraLin. These herbs are prescribed by Ayurvedic doctors to help support glucose balancing. By combining different herbs which work in different ways, glucose tolerance can improve through different mechanisms. This combination approach can produce a synergistic effect while using lower doses.

3. Weight gain around the middle

Weight gain around the abdomen is an indication that your blood sugar levels could be high and is a risk factor for type 2 diabetes. Diets and exercise which target these areas are good to check out first. Try following a low-GI, more plant-based diet.

4. Alcohol

Alcohol intake should be within healthy limits or even given up altogether for a while – the difference in mood, blood sugars and weight should be measured. Alcohol is high in calories and carbs and reduces will power to resist unhealthy foods!

5. Hunger pangs

Just like tiredness signals, hunger signals are emitted if glucose is staying in the blood and not being taken into cells. The body thinks it’s because you haven’t eaten!

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