Type 2 diabetes: The meat alternative proven to benefit blood sugar control
Type 2 diabetes causes the body to lose control of the amount of sugar (glucose) in the blood, resulting in the body not responding to insulin properly, it not producing enough, and causing blood sugar levels to become too high. If blood sugar levels aren’t controlled properly and stay too high, it can lead to a number of problems, including nerve damage, heart disease, foot ulcers and stroke.
- Type 2 diabetes: This popular Asian delicacy could lower blood sugar
Eating a healthy balanced diet with regular meals, three times a day is one way to control blood sugar levels.
As part of a healthy diet Bupa advises: “Include carbohydrates, such as whole-wheat pasta or potatoes in each meal and it’s a good idea to eat oily fish each week wherever possible.
“You GP may refer you to a dietician, who can advise you about keeping your blood glucose level under control.”
Over the last couple of years there has been a movement towards eating more plant-based foods, and more and more research has gone into their benefits.
When it comes to finding a meat alternative which benefits blood sugar levels, jackfruit has been proven effective.
The exotic fruit, which is native to South India, is used ins sweet and savoury dishes, including desserts and curries.
And jackfruit has several properties that may help with blood sugar management.
The first, is it has a fairly low glycemic index (GI), which is a measure of how quickly blood sugar rises after eating a food.
Diets that include lots of low-GI foods have been shown to be helpful for promoting blood sugar control.
Secondly, jackfruit provides some protein, which may help prevent blood sugar levels from rising too quickly after a meal.
One study showed adults who consumed jackfruit extract to have significantly improved blood sugar levels.
Another study of diabetic mice found jackfruit leaf extract helped reduce fasting blood sugar levels and provided long-term blood sugar control.
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These effects were attributed to jackfruit;s content of flavonoid antioxidants, which are known to promote balanced blood sugar levels.
Other ways to lower blood sugar
Alongside eating a healthy diet, being active can lower blood sugar levels.
The NHS advises: “Physical exercise helps lower your blood sugar level. You should aim for 2.5 hours of activity a week.
“You can be active anywhere as long as what you’re doing gets you out of breath.
“This could be fast walking, climbing stairs and doing more strenuous housework or gardening.”
Losing weight if you’re overweight is also important.
The health body adds: “Losing weight (if you’re overweight will make it easier for your body to lower your blood sugar level, and can improve your blood pressure and cholesterol.
“If you need to lose weight, try to do it slowly over time. Aim for around 0.5 to 1kg a week.”
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