Type 2 diabetes: Four ways to keep blood sugar levels in check

Type 2 diabetes can seem like a daunting diagnosis. It usually means a person has to revise aspects of their diet to prevent blood sugar levels from creeping up. Overtime, consistently high blood sugar levels can raise a person’s risk of developing life-threatening complications, such as heart disease and stroke. It is best to avoid snacking but this is easier said than done.

You get fatter, but still stay hungry

Dr Michael Mosley

As Dr Mosely of www.thefast800.com explained: “Insulin’s job is to bring down the fat and sugar that you’ve absorbed from your meals and which is now circulating in your blood.

“Ideally it would push those excess calories into cells like your muscles to be burnt as fuel. But if you are ‘insulin resistant’ then your muscles find it hard to absorb these calories. Instead they get dumped into your fat cells.

“The trouble is, your body still craves fuel, so you will soon start feeling hungry again. So you eat, again. But because you are insulin resistant many of the calories you absorb get diverted into your fat cells. You get fatter, but still stay hungry.”

To avoid snacking throughout the day, Dr Mosley recommends the following four tips:

Drink full fat milk and yoghurt

As Dr Mosley explained, a growing body of evidence shows that full-fat milk drinkers not only tend to be slimmer than those on lower-fat varieties, but also have a lower risk of metabolic syndrome – raised blood pressure, elevated blood sugars and raised levels of fats in the blood that can increase a person’s risk of heart disease.

He said: “The likely explanation, according to studies, is that consuming high-fat dairy products keeps you fuller for longer, reducing the lure of sugary snacks.”

Stay hydrated

Drinking plenty of water can keep the hunger at bay, explains Dr Mosely.

“You can also try adding fresh ginger, a slice of fresh lemon or lime to hot water or to sparkling water,” he said.

Black coffee and tea will not affect blood sugar levels during fasting hours, he added.

Keep exercising

According to Dr Mosely, fitness programmes are key to preventing cravings from taking over. “However, avoid endurance or highly demanding exercise on a fast day,” he advised.

Brushing teeth

Dr Mosley advises people brush their teeth soon as they have finished the last meal of the day.

“It’ll help you to keep away from snacks and nibbles,” he said.

He added: “It is also psychological trigger that this is the end of the day.”

What are the symptoms of type 2 diabetes?

According to the NHS, symptoms of type 2 diabetes include:

  • Urinating more than usual, particularly at night
  • Feeling thirsty all the time
  • Feeling very tired
  • Losing weight without trying to
  • Itching around a person’s penis or vagina, or repeatedly getting thrush
  • Cuts or wounds taking longer to heal
  • Blurred vision

As the health body explains, many people have type 2 diabetes without realising. This is because symptoms do not necessarily make you feel unwell.

If a person experiences any of the symptoms associated with type 2 diabetes, they should consult their GP, advises the NHS.

It added: “Many people have type 2 diabetes without realising. This is because symptoms do not necessarily make you feel unwell.”

A certain superfood is also proven to lower blood sugar levels. 

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