Controlling your blood sugar and weight is a vital part of managing type 2 diabetes; just as important as staying on top of any complications with your heart, eyes, and other organs which can occur due to the condition. Managing type 2 diabetes requires a lot of dedication and meal planning in order to stabilise blood sugar (glucose) level. If you do have type 2 diabetes I recommend you eat:
- Food from all food groups (carbohydrates, dairy, protein, fruit and vegetables)
- The same amount of carbohydrates at every meal (portion control)
- Good fats (omega – 3 fatty acids, monounsaturated fats)
- Fewer calories
By eating a healthier more balanced diet you are more likely to keep blood sugars under control and maintain a healthy weight. Statistics indicate an individual with type 2 diabetes is more likely to be overweight; by losing close to a stone you can help improve your insulin sensitivity and glycaemic control. By incorporating heathy foods into your diet and keeping active (walking, swimming, tennis etc.) for 30 minutes 3-4 times a week, you can maintain your weight loss goal.
Carbohydrates and blood sugar
Carbohydrates present in certain foods provide our bodies with the energy we require. That being said some carbohydrate foods can raise your blood sugars much higher and quicker than other types of food. It’s very important to identify which foods will give a spike in your sugar levels as these foods will need to be limited (eg) white versions of bread, rice, pasta etc will raise your blood sugar quicker than healthier brown versions
It goes without saying that sugary foods and drinks (fizzy drinks, sweets, biscuits etc.) are low quality carbohydrates and need to be limited or avoided if you have diabetes. These foods lack in nutritional value and also cause a sharp spike in your blood sugar level, this can lead to weight issues and worsen diabetic complications. Try and eat more fruits like apples, pears and berries as they contain fibre which can slow down the absorption of glucose, much more ideal for blood sugar control.
Fibre rich whole fruits are much more beneficial for controlling diabetes whereas fruit juice is not. If you have diabetes, it is not ideal to be consuming too much fruit juice as it contains a high level of concentrated fruit sugar causing you blood sugar levels to rocket.
White rice, pasta and bread
These are one of the worst foods you can consume if you are trying to regulate blood sugar level. This group of foods are refined starches and are made with white flour. These white carbohydrates are almost pure glucose and are recognised by your body as sugar once it begins to digest them. Opt for whole grains, like brown rice and pasta, porridge, high fibre cereals, and whole grain breads.
Free Diabetes Talk and information event
Whelehans Pharmacy is hosting a free talk on Diabetes on Thursday May 30th at 7pm in the Greville Arms Hotel. Pharmacist Eamonn Brady will speak about the medication used with Diabetes while experts including dieticians, eye screening specialists and other professionals will discuss diabetes management. More details to be announced; keep an eye on this column in the coming weeks for more details. This is expected to be a popular event so we advise booking in advance by calling Whelehans at 04493 34591
To be continued...next week I will discuss more about diabetes.
Aisling Murray has a Bachelor of Science in Nutrition and offers a one to one specialist nutrition service at Whelehans Pharmacy. Call Whelehans at 04493 34591 for an appointment. Aisling’s Nutriton Clinic costs only €10 per week.