Diabetes Type 2
Preventing and managing type 2 diabetes
Diabetes is a lifelong condition that causes a person's blood sugar level to become too high.
If you are diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, you may be able to control your symptoms simply by eating a healthy diet and monitoring your blood glucose level.
- Eat protein with every meal and snack. If you add a protein to a meal or a snack it will help control with sugar cravings and prevent your blood sugar levels from spiking or plummeting. When you think of protein, do not automatically think of a slab of steak to eat with an apple. Think of nuts, seeds, hummus, beans, pulses and protein-rich fish or lean chicken.
- Don’t skip meals. The body needs a regular supply of fuel, if you skip meals it sends your blood sugar and energy levels plummeting leaving you tired, hungry and tempted by sugary snacks to re-energise.
- Eat five or six times a day. Have three healthy meals and two or three healthy snacks a day. This will give you sustained nutrients and energy for the day and keep hunger pangs at bay. Choose unprocessed, low sugar snacks such as a handful of unsalted nuts (watch the portion sizes), hummus with carrot and celery sticks or oat cakes.
- Don’t be afraid of fat. Some fats are good – providing energy and helping the body to absorb vitamins. Fats also slow the release of sugar into the bloodstream, thus steadying blood sugar balance – essential for diabetics. There are good fats and bad fats. Top up on good fats from oily fish, avocados or unsalted nuts. Bad fats on the other hand should be avoided, especially trans fats found in many biscuits and cakes and other baked goods with a long shelf life.
- Watch the fruit platter. Fruit is full of vitamins, minerals, fibre … and sugar. It may be a healthy form of sugar, bringing a lot of nutrients into your body, but if you are diabetic you do need to watch your fruit intake. Eating several portions of fruit a day can cause havoc on your blood sugar balance, sending it sky high. Follow the three-two method: three portions of vegetables or salad and only two portions of fruit a day.