Type 2 diabetes occurs when a person’s pancreas cannot produce enough insulin to control their blood sugar levels. Overtime, unchecked blood sugar levels can hike the risk of developing deadly complications, such as heart disease. Fortunately, certain dietary decisions have been shown to control blood sugar levels. Evidence suggests drinking water may do the trick.
As Diabetes.co.uk explains, water contains no carbohydrate or calories.
Carbs can send blood sugar levels soaring and make it harder for people with type 2 diabetes to manage their weight. This makes it the perfect drink for people with diabetes.
Studies have shown that drinking water could help control blood glucose levels.
One observational study showed that those who drank more water had a lower risk of developing high blood sugar levels.
Participants that consumed more than one litre of water per day had a 28 per cent lower risk of developing high blood sugar levels compared to those drinking less than 500ml of water per day.
The researchers also highlighted the hormone vasopressin – which rises when dehydration occurs – as a possible risk factor for high blood sugar levels and diabetes.
While the study had limitations, the authors concluded that increased water intake could reduce the likelihood of heightened vasopressin levels.
Research into the benefits reveals drinking water regularly re-hydrates the blood, lowers blood sugar levels and reduces diabetes risk.
Drinks to avoid
As a general rule, sugary soft drinks are best avoided by people with type 2 diabetes.
As Diabetes.co.uk explained: “Sweetened, sugary drinks can cause sharp rises in blood sugar levels for people with diabetes or glucose intolerance.”
Drinking sugary drinks can also can also lead to tiredness and increased hunger, making it harder to manage blood sugar levels, notes the health body.
Foods to avoid
Increasingly, a low-carb diet is being recognised as one of the most effective ways to regulate blood sugar levels.
As Diabetes.co.uk explains, carbohydrate is broken down into glucose relatively quickly and therefore has a more pronounced effect on blood sugar levels than either fat or protein.
Carbohydrate is found, to varying degrees in a wide variety of food, notably in starchy foods such as rice, pasta and flour (therefore including pastry, bread and other dough based foods), notes the health body.
People should opt for low-carb options to manage their blood sugar levels.
Low-carb foods include:
- Lean meats, such as sirloin, chicken breast, or pork
- Leafy green vegetables
- Cauliflower and broccoli
- Nuts and seeds, including nut butter
- Oils, such as coconut oil, olive oil and rapeseed oil
- Some fruit, such as apples, blueberries and strawberries
- Unsweetened dairy products including plain whole milk and plain Greek yogurt
Physical exercise helps people with type 2 diabetes lower their blood sugar levels. The NHS recommends people aim for 2.5 hours of activity a week.
What are the symptoms of type 2 diabetes?
According to the NHS, symptoms of type 2 diabetes include:
- Urinating more than usual, particularly at night
- Feeling thirsty all the time
- Feeling very tired
- Losing weight without trying to
- Itching around a person’s penis or vagina, or repeatedly getting thrush
- Cuts or wounds taking longer to heal
- Blurred vision