FOODS TO HELP FIGHT DIABETES
Millions of people have type 2 diabetes, or its precursor, prediabetes. The good news is that healthy eating can help lower blood sugar. Here are some promising approaches to reducing your diabetes risk.
The greatest future increase in diabetes is expected to be in Africa– it's predicted that numbers will have almost doubled by 2030. Currently over three million South Africans (about 6% of the population) suffer from diabetes and another five million are estimated to be at risk with pre-diabetes.
What should you be eating?
While there's no magic food to prevent type 2 diabetes, there are wise food choices that, along with exercise, can help you avoid it. Focus on fibre - whole grains like brown rice, oats, barley, and quinoa, as well as beans and veggies. Interestingly, herbs and spices also appear to play an important role. A study on the famously healthy "Mediterranean Diet" found that virtually all of the herbs and spices they use — basil, cumin, oregano, parsley, and sage — can help lower blood sugar and boost insulin production. Try and replace sweetened drinks - cooldrinks, iced tea etc - with unsweetened options like sparkling water.
What should you be avoiding?
High on the list of things to avoid are sugary drinks - soda and even fruit juices are high in carbs, which increase blood sugar. White bread and white rice should be replaced with high fibre bread and brown rice where possible. Try cutting down on fatty meat, fried foods, desserts and cakes, and sugary foods generally.
What other factors can you work on?
As always, exercise plays a huge role in helping to prevent many diseases - so ignore that junk food craving and get on your bike or into the gym instead. Your body will thank you for it!