Lifestyle

Type 2 diabetes: Eating oats, nuts, cinnamon and chia seeds could lower blood sugar

Type 2 diabetes causes a person to lose control of their blood sugar levels. It causes the body not to respond to insulin properly and it doesn’t produce enough. This causes a person’s blood glucose level to become too high. If type 2 diabetes is left untreated, serious complications can occur, including nerve damage, foot ulcers, heart disease and stroke. To prevent and control the condition experts recommend eating a healthy diet.

While there’s nothing you cannot eat if you have type 2 diabetes, certain foods should be limited.

The NHS recommends eating a wide range of foods, including fruit, vegetables and some starchy foods like pasta, and sugar, fat and salt should be kept to a minimum.

It’s also important to eat breakfast, lunch and dinner every day, and not to skip meals.

So when it comes to the first meal of the day breakfast, what meal is considered best for blood sugar levels?

Oats topped with nuts, cinnamon, chia seeds and greek yoghurt could be a great choice.

Oats

Oats contain a soluble fibre called beta-glucan that can help improve insulin response and reduce blood sugar.

A review of research on the benefits of oatmeal for people with type 2 diabetes found oatmeal has a positive effect on blood sugar control. 

Cinnamon

A number of studies have shown cinnamon can lower blood sugar levels and improve insulin sensitivity.

Long-term diabetes control is usually determined by measuring haemoglobin A1c, which reflect a person’s average blood sugar level over two to three months.

In one study, type 2 diabetes patients who took cinnamon for 90 days had more than a double reduction in haemoglobin A1c, compared to participants who only received standard care. 

Chia seeds

Chia seeds are high in fibre and low in digestible carbs, which mean they can have a positive impact on blood sugar levels.

The viscous fibre in chia seeds have been shown to lower blood sugar levels by slowing down the rate at which food moves through your gut and is absorbed. 

Greek yoghurt

Studies have found yogurt may lead to weight loss and improved body composition in people with type 2 diabetes.

Researchers believe yoghurt’s high calcium and conjugated lanolin acid content may play a role. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26175486)

Greek yoghurt roughly contains just 6-8g of carbs per serving, which also makes it a good choice for blood sugar levels.

Nuts

Research carried out on a variety of different nuts has shown regular consumption may reduce inflammation and lower blood sugar.

In one study, participants with diabetes who included 30g of walnuts in their daily diet for one year lost weight, showed improvements in body composition and experienced a significant reduction in insulin levels. 

Having a certain drink at breakfast could also help control blood sugar levels. 

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