Having a weakness for sweet delicacies as a diabetic can be detrimental to your health. Simply put, sugar ages you!
Eating too much sugar increases blood sugar levels, triggering your body to make more insulin. It then gets stored in your body as fat resulting in you gaining weight. Doing this day in and day out leads to insulin resistance, and your cells can become ‘sugar damaged’, which then puts you at a risk for type 2 diabetes. Patrick Holford suggests eating a low glycaemic load diet to keep your blood sugar levels remain steady and to help your body metabolise fat more efficiently.
See Holford’s tips below:
- Combine protein with carbs – When you eat fruit, potatoes, rice, bread or pasta, try adding something with protein in it, like nuts, seeds, beans, lentils, ﬁsh, eggs or meat. For example, have scrambled eggs instead of jam on toast; some almonds with an apple; ﬁsh, beans or lentils with rice and meat with potatoes.
- Stick with oats, fibre or brans – Over a thousand studies show that 10 percent of your diet as beta-glucans can halve the blood sugar peak of a meal. Eat half of your ﬂakes, cold or hot, as porridge with fruit such as berries, pears or apples. If the oats are cold, you increase the oat ﬁbre effect.
- A spoonful of cinnamon – A teaspoon of cinnamon a day decreases blood sugar levels. Add ground cinnamon to your cereal, smoothies, soups and hot drinks.
- Supplement chromium – Take 600mg of high quality chromium supplement a day. You need chromium for the insulin receptor to work and help reverse insulin resistance.
- Ditch the wheat – When it comes to breads and pastas, wholegrains have a lower GL than the reﬁned white options. Wholegrain rye is best, especially sourdough rye bread and the slow-cooked German-style breads called pumpernickel, sonnenbrot or volkenbrot. Whole pearl barley boils like rice and has a very low-GL, a delicious nutty taste and chewy texture for soups and ‘risottos’. There is an ancient form of wheat called Kamut khorosan, which studies show spectacularly improves insulin resistance and lowers blood sugar.
- Supplement super-fibres – Consume a super-soluble ﬁbre called glucomannan, having three to five grams with a glass of water before a meal will help you to even out your blood sugar response. Together with a calorie-controlled diet, supplementing glucomannan ﬁbre helps you to lose weight.
- Go for nuts, seeds, beans and lentils – Sprinkling chia seeds on your cereal and eating almonds with your fruit snack, helps to lower the GL of that meal or snack.
- Choose your fruit – Not all fruit is made equal. Against popular belief, some fruits actually have quite a high effect on your blood sugar levels. A rule of thumb is that the bluer the berry, the better. So blackcurrants, blackberries, blueberries and cooked black elderberry are all very low-GL and very good for you. Plums, when in season, are a great fruit snack, together with some protein such as a few almonds or pumpkin seeds. The next best fruits are apples and pears.
- Switch from sugar to xylitol – If you crystallise xylose, the slowest releasing form of sugar, you get xylitol, a natural white sugar that is great for teeth. This sugar alcohol has an extremely low-GL and is a great replacement for normal sugar, even for baking purposes. Nine teaspoons of xylitol equals one teaspoon of sugar in terms of GL.
- Get enough vitamin C – A study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, done on over 21 000 people over a 12-year period, revealed that having a high level of vitamin C in your blood, consistent with that achieved by supplementation and eating a high fruit and vegetable diet, reduces your risk of diabetes by 62 percent.
Source: Patrick Holford