Diabetes type 2: Dr Zoe Williams discusses high blood sugar risks
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Diabetes occurs in individuals whose bodies are unable to respond or produce insulin – the hormone that takes up blood sugar to convert into energy. The eventual outcome of this is high blood sugar levels, which can damage overall health if left unmanaged. Fortunately, some foods can help facilitate this process by significantly lowering blood glucose when incorporated into one’s diet.
Managing blood sugar is imperative for preventing diabetes, and pumpkin seeds may facilitate this.
According to Healthline, pumpkin seeds are high in carbohydrates called polysaccharides, which have demonstrated strong sugar-regulating effects in past studies.
“Treatments with pumpkin extracts and powder have been shown to significantly decrease blood sugar levels in both human and animal studies,” explains the health body.
“Pumpkin seeds are highly nutritious and packed with powerful antioxidants.”
The seeds are packed with proteins and fat, which make them a good choice for lowering post-meal blood sugar.
READ MORE: Type 2 diabetes: Type of fat to improve insulin resistance and reduce risk – what to eat?
According to one 2018 study, consuming two ounces of pumpkin seeds could reduce post-meal blood sugar by up to 35 percent compared with a control group.
The researchers concluded: “Pumpkin seed has potential as a hypoglycaemic food, which now deserves to be confirmed in long-term studies.”
It is believed that magnesium may have this effect, as research shows the risk of diabetes tends to be lower in individuals who eat a diet rich in magnesium.
“Our findings suggest a significant inverse association between magnesium intake and diabetes risk,” wrote the authors of one study published in the journal Diabetes Care.
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“This study supports the dietary recommendation to increase consumption of major food sources of magnesium, such as whole grains, nuts and green leafy vegetables.”
There are many other nutrients in pumpkins seeds, however, that work to keep blood sugar levels stable.
Pumpkin seeds are also rich in fibre, which helps slow the absorption of blood sugar by the body.
This is why the seed is often recommended to stabilise blood sugar levels, which could be particularly useful for diabetics.
Its vitamin E and carotenoids content may reduce inflammation too, which is a hallmark of many diseases including diabetes.
All these nutrients also validate the intake of pumping-derived products to keep the heart-healthy.
Both pumpkins seeds and oil have been shown to lower both high cholesterol and hypertension.
According to the Mayo Clinic, a normal blood sugar level should range below 140 mg/dL.
“A reading of more than 200 mg/dL after two hours indicates diabetes.
“[And] a reading between 140 and 199 mg/dL indicates pre-diabetes,” adds the health body.”
The condition in the early stages can still be reversed. Avoiding foods that score highly on the glycemic index could heighten the chances of keeping blood sugar levels under control.
Exercise may also offer long-lasting effects on blood sugar, helping maintain healthy levels over a period of 24 hours.
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