- Consistently high blood glucose levels in Diabetes type 2 poses a higher risk for cardiovascular diseases, kidney problems and stroke.
- Working on a number of lifestyle factors, such as limiting sugary foods in the diet can help in managing diabetes
- Knowing what to avoid and being aware of hidden sugars in everyday food items can help in cutting down sugar intake.
Type 2 diabetes is characterized by increased blood sugar levels. Those who suffer from this condition need to watch their diet closely and control their sugar consumption. A type 2 diabetic patient will be at risk for a multitude of conditions such as stroke, kidney and heart problems, and even blindness if they constantly have high blood sugar.
However, this type of diabetes is considered a “lifestyle disease”—meaning it can be managed by actively modifying factors that affect lifestyle such as exercise and, most importantly, diet. Cutting down sugar and being properly educated on what to eat is essential in keeping blood glucose levels at bay.
Awareness is key. Paying attention to product labels will tell you a lot about the food’s sugar content. Be cautious of terms such as glucose, maltose, sucrose, maltose, honey, corn syrup – because they all mean one thing: Sugar.
According to Diabetes UK, “Most of the sugar we eat is ‘hidden’ as food manufacturers have put it into a lot of the food and drinks we buy…It’s very easy to be unaware that the amount of sugar you’re consuming is reaching unhealthy levels because it comes in so many forms and in so many products.”
High amounts of sugar can be found in obvious food items such as cakes, cookies and chocolates – however, sugar can also be abundant in everyday food staples, like bread, rice and ready-to-eat meals. Diabetes UK further adds that a total of eight teaspoons of sugar can be found in just 500g of pasta sauce.
Healthier options such as milk, vegetables and fruit contain naturally-occurring sugars, so it doesn’t mean that it’s alright to binge on these items. Flavored milk, for instance, wouldn’t be a good choice since it’s also sugary; semi-skimmed milk is better. A bottle of pure orange juice can be pretty sugar-loaded as it would have about seven teaspoons of sugar, so Diabetes UK recommends eating the whole fruit itself to benefit from the fiber that it contains. Still, it’s best to trade off these drinks with water and sugar-free beverages.
Overall, maintaining a balance and picking the right food is critical in managing blood glucose levels and achieving a healthier life, despite having diabetes type 2.