Type 2 diabetes happens when the level of sugar in the blood is too high.
It’s a serious condition that needs to be kept under control, because if left untreated it can cause health problems with the eyes, kidneys, heart and nerves.
As well as taking medication, it’s vital people with diabetes make simple lifestyle changes to keep the condition under control.
Lifestyle changes include losing excess weight, exercising and eating a healthy, balanced diet.
Of course people with diabetes should try to limit the amount of sugar they consume, but it’s not just sugar that should be cut down on.
Food that is high in salt and fat should also be limited.
This is because fatty foods can lead to unhealthy weight gain, and being overweight increases the risk of having diabetes complications, as well as other health problems.
Eating too much salt also raises the risk of high blood pressure, which can too lead to health problems and raise the risk of diabetes complications.
Some foods, however, can be difficult to give up. If you love cheese, for example, you may struggle to cut it from your diet.
But, enjoying cheese and having diabetes doesn’t mean you have to give it up forever.
Cheese is a good source of calcium, which is essential in keeping the teeth and bones healthy.
It’s also a good source of protein, which is vital in a healthy, balanced diet.
However, cheese can also be high in both fat and salt, so it’s important not to eat too much, especially if you have diabetes.
If cheese is your guilty pleasure, opt for a strong-flavoured type instead of a mild one.
Mature cheddar, parmesan and feta are just three examples of delicious stronger cheeses.
The advantage of strong cheese is that due to the stronger flavour, you can sprinkle less on your pasta or add fewer, thinner slices to your sandwich, but still enjoy the taste.
With milder cheeses you may need to eat more to enjoy the full taste, which means more fat and more calories.
Diabetes UK also recommends adding cottage cheese to certain meals, such as in replacement of butter in mashed potato.
Cottage cheese is lower in fat than other cheeses and can also be used as an alternative to sour cream.
“A healthy, balanced diet will help you – and your family – to eat well, feel good and enjoy food,” said Diabetes UK.