Here are five foods that can help regulate blood sugar or prevent type 2 diabetes  |  Photo Credit: iStock Images
- Both diet and exercise play a major role in the development and prevention of certain health conditions, including type 2 diabetes
- For diabetics, following a healthy, balanced diet is critical for maintaining stable blood sugar levels
- Here are five foods that may help prevent or reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes while improving overall health
New Delhi: Type 2 diabetes is the most common type of diabetes mellitus that affects the way your body processess blood sugar (glucose). It is a chronic condition that causes the level of blood sugar to become too high. Symptoms of type 2 diabetes may include excessive thirst, tiredness, needing to pee a lot, etc. This condition increases an individual’s risk of developing several health issues such as heart disease, high blood pressure and stroke. Making diabtetes prevention a priority is especially important if you are overweight or have a family history of the disease or other risk factors. A healthy diet along with regular exercise and other lifestyle modifications plays a big role in preventing diabetes.
Research has shown that people with pre-diabetes who lose a few extra pounds – just 5 to 7 per cent of body weight – can reduce their risk of type 2 diabetes by 54 per cent. It’s true that genetics can increase your chances of developing type 2 diabetes as with other conditions. However, eating more healthfully by choosing nutrient-dense foods and staying physically active can help prevent or delay the onset of diabetes and other health problems.
Five foods that can help prevent diabetes or balance blood sugar
- Apples: Turns out, this delicious, juicy fruit is one of the best fruits you can eat to help ward off diabetes. Apples are high in quercetin, a plant pigment that helps the body make insulin more efficiently and prevent insulin resistance – a hallmark characteristic of type 2 diabetes. They are also rich in antioxidants and fibre, which helps manage blood sugar levels.
- Berries: Berries – strawberries, raspberries, blackberries and blueberries – are often considered as superfoods due to their high content of nutrients that offer numerous health benefits. They are loaded with disease-fighting antioxidants and fibre, which slows the absorption of glucose and helps improve blood sugar levels. Berries are low in calories, carbohydrates, and have a low glycemic index, keeping your blood sugar steady. Just ensure that you opt for fresh or unsweetened frozen fruit for optimal benefits.
- Beans and legumes: Beans and legumes are high in protein, fibre and other beneficial nutrients such as folate, potassium, iron and magnesium. They are low in calories, fat and have a low glycemic index, making them a great addition to diabetes diet. A study published in the journal Archives of Internal Medicine reported that consuming a cup of beans a day has been shown to reduce blood sugar.
- Spinach: Green leafy vegetables such as spinach, kale and lettuce excellent food choices for controlling or reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes. They are very low in calories but high in fibre, calcium, vitamin A and various antioxidants that may help you lose weight, prevent diabetes and other health problems.
- Brown rice: This simple food has been linked to a number of health benefits, including weight loss. Brown rice is also a better choice for people with diabetes due to its high fibre content and low glycemic index. A study published in the Journal of Nutrition showed that those who eat three to five servings of whole grains per day have a 26 per cent reduced risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Apart from fibre, brown rice also contains significant amounts of other beneficial compounds that may promote heart health.
The bottom line is, there’s no magic food or diet for preventing diabetes. However, eating a varied diet and making lifestyle modifications may help you stay healthy and fit.
Disclaimer: Tips and suggestions mentioned in the article are for general information purpose only and should not be construed as professional medical advice. Always consult your doctor or a dietician before starting any fitness programme or making any changes to your diet.
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