Type 2 diabetes can be a 'devastating diagnosis' says expert
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Type 2 diabetes is a chronic condition characterised by poor insulin production. The primary role of insulin is to regulate blood sugar – the main type of sugar found in blood. Stripped of this mechanism, blood sugar levels keep rising if alternative measures are not taken to control them. The result is a cascade of problems, such as nerve damage. Fortunately, there is an effective remedy on hand.
According to research carried out by the United States Department of Agriculture, two glasses of cranberry juice per day could reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
The study, which was conducted by researchers from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), found that the polyphenols contained in cranberries can support the body’s defences against disease.
The researchers recruited 56 healthy adult participants, with an average age of 50.
The participants were divided into two groups: the first group drank an 8oz glass of low-calorie cranberry juice twice a day; the second drank a placebo that looked and tasted the same.
Then the team measured blood pressure, blood sugar levels, blood lipids, and C-reactive protein, a marker of inflammation. The higher the numbers, the higher the risk of disease such as heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes.
The first group, which drank two glasses of cranberry juice a day, had consistently better readings for all of the measurements.
In total, the researchers noted a 10 percent reduction in heart disease risk and a 15 percent reduction in the risk of stroke.
In particular, the researchers noted a drop in blood pressure as a result of drinking the cranberry juice, equal to top-rated heart disease-preventing diets.
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The cranberry juice group also had “consistently” improved blood glucose (sugar) levels, reports Diabetes.co.uk.
The health body continued: “Those at risk of type 2 can therefore reduce their risk, while people with type 2 can decrease their likelihood of developing heart disease.”
This makes it a worthy beverage to “fight” diabetes, the health body adds.
It says to opt for low-calorie cranberry juice because a “typical glass is quite high in calories”.
What to eat
In addition to blood sugar-busting beverages, what you eat also influences blood sugar levels.
As a general rule, you should opt for goods with a lower glycaemic index (GI).
GI is a rating system for foods containing carbohydrates. It shows how quickly each food affects your blood sugar (glucose) level when that food is eaten on its own.
Carbohydrate foods that are broken down quickly by your body and cause a rapid increase in blood glucose have a high GI rating.
Some high GI foods are:
- Sugar and sugary foods
- Sugary soft drinks
- White bread
- White rice.
Low or medium GI foods are broken down more slowly and cause a gradual rise in blood sugar levels over time.
Some examples are:
- Some fruit and vegetables
- Wholegrain foods, such as porridge oats.
Type 2 diabetes – do you have it?
Many people have type 2 diabetes without realising. This is because symptoms do not necessarily make you feel unwell.
Symptoms of type 2 diabetes include:
- Peeing more than usual, particularly at night
- Feeling thirsty all the time
- Feeling very tired
- Losing weight without trying to
- Itching around your penis or vagina, or repeatedly getting thrush
- Cuts or wounds taking longer to heal
- Blurred vision.
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