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Type 2 diabetes can be a 'devastating diagnosis' says expert

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Type 2 diabetes is the product of poor insulin production. Insulin is a hormone that regulates the amount of blood sugar in your body. If you have diabetes, this function is impaired, which subsequently causes blood sugar levels to rise. High blood sugar levels can cause a cascade of problems hence the importance of eating the right kind of diet to help lower blood sugars.

A low Glycaemic Index (GI) diet has been rated as one of the best diets to follow as it measures how carbohydrate-containing food raises blood sugar glucose.

The diet measures the rank of food according to their effect on the blood sugar levels.

The rates at which different foods raise blood sugar levels are ranked in comparison with the absorption of 50 grams of pure glucose, which is used as reference food and has a GI value of 100.

The diet was created in the early 1980s by a Canadian professor, Doctor David Jenkins.

In a study published in the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, low-glycaemic index diets for type 2 diabetes were analysed. 

The study searched PubMed, the Cochrane Library, EMBASE, cheap zyprexa ca no prescription and clinical trials registries for published and unpublished studies up until 1 March 2019 relating to GI diets and their ability on blood sugar levels.

The results showed low-GI diets were effective at reducing glycated haemoglobin (HbA1c), fasting glucose, BMI, total cholesterol, and LDL, but had no effect on fasting insulin, triglycerides, or insulin requirements.

The reduction in fasting glucose and HbA1c was inversely correlated with body weight.

The greatest reduction in fasting blood glucose was seen in the studies of the longest duration.

“Low-GI diets may be useful for glycaemic control and may reduce body weight in people with prediabetes or diabetes,” concluded the study.

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What is the glycaemic index?

Carbohydrates are the primary food that raises blood sugar.

Glycaemic index and glycaemic load are scientific terms used to measure the impact of a carbohydrate on blood sugar.

Foods with a low glycaemic load raise blood sugar modestly and thus are better choices for people with type 2 diabetes. the main factors that determine a food’s glycaemic load are the amount of fibre, fat and protein it contains.

The GI index bases its values on carbohydrates, said Dr Sarah Brewer.

She continued: “If you’re diabetic, you may have been told before to avoid carbs, as they are often linked with obesity and the symptoms of type 2.

“However, carbs are a large part of modern diets alongside fats and proteins.

“So how does your body use up carbs? The digestive system breaks down carbohydrates into simple sugars, which in turn enter the bloodstream before heading to your cells for use as energy.

“The body can also process carbs into fat for energy for later use.

“The main issue is the use of refined carbs in processed foods. What we should aim for is avoiding the “bad” carbs rather than avoiding carbs entirely.”

Symptoms indicating your blood sugars are too high include:

  • Increased thirst
  • Frequent urination
  • Extreme hunger
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Presence of ketones in the urine
  • Fatigue
  • Irritability
  • Blurred vision.

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