Living with Type II diabetes

Living with type 2 diabetes

The best types of food for you:

To avoid large fluctuations in blood sugar you need to eat healthy food at regular intervals during the day.

Do not skip breakfast.

The principles of healthy eating are the same as we always recommend:

Eat plenty of fruit and vegetables

Fill up on starchy carbohydrates

Avoid too much saturated fat

Eat more fish

Avoid too much sugar and salt

Just over 4 million people in the UK have diabetes.

90% of these have type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes can be a life-long condition and usually affects people over the age of 40. It is estimated that 590,000 people have the condition, but do not know it yet!

Type 2 diabetes occurs when your body cannot pro- duce enough insulin or when your body does not re- spond to insulin in the way that it should (known as insulin resistance).

Symptoms include needing to pass urine frequently, feeling constantly thirsty and unexpected weight loss. These symptoms are not always apparent.

People with diabetes type 2 have an increased risk of suffering from heart disease and stroke.

If you have been diagnosed with diabetes type 2, are pre-diabetic or if you are concerned about it, you may need to make lifestyle changes. It is important to eat a balanced diet, keep your weight at a healthy level, take regular exercise, avoid smoking and limit alcohol intake.

For the treatment / avoidance of diabetes type 2, there is another very important message…

EAT MORE SOLUBLE FIBRE

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The best soluble-fibre containing foods are…

Fruit and vegetables, such as:

Legumes – such as peas and beans (the humble frozen pea is a great source), lentils, kidney beans

Avocado

Strawberries

Plums

Oranges

Asparagus

Spinach

Sweet potato

Carrots

Cereals such as:

oats, barley, rye and linseed

Soluble vs insoluble fibre the differences

Fibre is only contained in food from plant sources. Meat, fish and dairy foods do not contain fibre. There are two types of fibre and their health benefits are different.

Soluble fibre absorbs water during digestion and forms a ‘gel’ within the intes- tines. This has the effect of slowing the absorption of glucose into the blood- stream. Soluble fibre also has the effect of keeping you full up for longer (which helps with weight management) and has been seen to help to lower blood cholesterol levels.

Insoluble fibre is also important in our diet. This is the type of fibre found in the outer layer of cereal grains and the skins of fruit and vegetables, which cannot be digested by the body. Insoluble fibre in the diet helps to keep the intestines healthy and helps to avoid constipation.

Foods containing good amounts of soluble fibre are particularly important for helping to treat / avoid diabetes type 2.

Ways to eat a good amount of soluble fibre:

Ensuring a good daily intake of fruit and vegetables (some with each meal).

Serving peas or beans with a meal (oradding them to recipes).

Choosing breads and cereals containing oats, barley or rye.

Cooking with oat flour or adding oats to your breakfast and other recipes.