Britain is in the grip of a health epidemic that’s threatening to overwhelm the NHS. More and more of us are being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. It’s a hidden killer which can lead to heart failure, blindness, kidney disease and leg amputations. Now even children are being diagnosed with the condition. Filming over six months, Panorama reports from the frontline of the epidemic – in Birmingham, where almost one in ten people has the disease.
In this film, type 1 diabetes was referred to as ‘the sort you’re born with’. We acknowledge this is not medically accurate. Type 1 often develops in childhood to genetically predisposed individuals, but it can develop at any age, resulting from immune mediated injury to the pancreas.
What is Diabetes?
Diabetes is a group of metabolic diseases in which there are high blood sugar levels over a prolonged period. Symptoms of high blood sugar include frequent urination, increased thirst, and increased hunger. If left untreated, diabetes can cause many serious long-term complications include heart disease, stroke, chronic kidney failure, foot ulcers, and damage to the eyes. What you eat can help you to control and fight your diabetes. Research proves that making a few key changes to your diet such as eating more produce, fewer refined carbohydrates, plenty of lean protein can help in improving your blood-sugar and cuts the risk of diabetes-related complications. Certain foods are packed with nutrients that stabilize blood sugar levels, protect your heart, and even save your vision from the damaging effects of diabetes. These top 10 foods can help you in controlling Diabetes.
The American Diabetes Association calls spinach a diabetes super food and recommends that you regularly include this dark green leafy non-starchy vegetable in your diet. Besides being rich in vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals, spinach possesses a low glycemic index, which means eating it will help support healthy and stable blood glucose levels. Spinach is low in carbohydrates, containing only 0.83 grams per cup. The fact that spinach contains so few carbohydrates makes it an excellent choice on a diabetes diet.
Broccoli contains a compound called sulforaphane, which triggers several anti-inflammatory processes that improve blood sugar control and protect blood vessels from the cardiovascular damage that’s often a consequence of diabetes.
Olive oil is recognized as one of the healthiest edible oils since it contains less saturated fats. It is rich in Omega 9 and Omega 3 which help maintain the flexibility of blood vessels, allowing good blood flow. Olive oil, especially extra virgin, contains tyrosol phenolic compounds such as oleuropein and oleocanthal. These compounds are nature’s most powerful anti-oxidants.
Sweet potatoes are a good carbohydrate choice for diabetics.
The glycemic index of sweet potatoes is a lot lower, which is better for diabetes control, according to a 2002 article in the “American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.” Eating sweet potatoes in moderate amounts will help you keep your blood sugar levels in the healthy range even if you have diabetes.
Avocados are an excellent choice for people with diabetes because they are very rich in dietary fiber, vitamins, and minerals and packed with numerous health benefiting plant nutrients.
Blueberries contain both insoluble fiber (which “flushes” fat out of your system) and soluble fiber (which slows down the emptying of your stomach, and improves blood sugar control). It also contain a natural plant compound known as anthocyanins. Scientists believe these may help lower blood sugar by boosting insulin production.
Tomatoes are an excellent source of vitamin C, vitamin A, and vitamin K. They are also a very good source of, potassium, manganese, dietary fiber, chromium, and vitamin B1. Because of their low carbohydrate content, tomatoes can play a big role in controlling blood sugar levels. The low carbohydrate content also helps lower calorie intake and can help diabetics to lose weight.
Eggs are a versatile food and a great source of protein, and the American Diabetes Association considers eggs an excellent choice for people with diabetes.
Cinnamon spice has the highest anti-oxidant strength of all the food sources in nature. Many studies show that consumption of one teaspoon cinnamon to three teaspoons a day has a positive effect on reducing blood glucose levels. It was found that the cinnamon can make your cells more sensitive to insulin.
Dates are a great choice for a person with diabetes as they can help control sugar cravings, and they are low on the glycemic index.