This Morning: Type 2 diabetes can be 'devastating' says expert
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Type 2 diabetes is a chronic condition whereby the pancreas does not produce enough insulin or the insulin it does produce is not taken up by the cells. The primary role of insulin is to regulate blood sugar – the main type of sugar found in blood. As a result of this dysfunction, blood sugar levels can rise to dangerous levels.
Fortunately, diet offers a means of policing this process by slowing down the rate at which food is broken down into glucose (blood sugar).
Certain products – identified through research – have proven to be particularly adept at this.
Research published in the International Journal of Pharma and Bio Sciences suggests there really is something to the aphorism “an apple a day keeps the doctor away”.
The study investigated the potential effects of apples on fasting blood sugar in Type 2 diabetic patients.
The study includes 98 type 2 diabetic patients, who were divided into two groups.
Type 2 diabetics who were willing to take an apple in the diet daily were subjects and the type 2 diabetics in the other group were controls.
Fasting blood sugar levels were measured at the start of the study and after four weeks and compared to that of controls.
Fasting blood sugar is a test done by a health professional after not eating for a few hours.
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What did the researchers find out?
Compared with the control group, there was a “highly significant” reduction in fasting blood sugar levels observed in the group assigned a daily apple, the researchers wrote.
This finding held consistent across age and sex.
The researchers concluded that the “present study revealed that one medium size apple in diet of Type II diabetics reduces the fasting blood sugar levels”.
Although the researchers did not provide a possible explanation for this effect, apples rank low on the glycaemic index (GI).
The 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.
Low or medium GI foods are broken down more slowly and cause a gradual rise in blood sugar levels over time.
Other low GI foods include:
- Wholegrain foods, such as porridge oats.
Some low GI foods, such as wholegrain foods, fruit, vegetables, beans and lentils, are foods we should eat as part of a healthy, balanced diet.
However, using the glycaemic index to decide whether foods or combinations of foods are healthy can be misleading.
The NHS explains: “Foods with a high GI are not necessarily unhealthy and not all foods with a low GI are healthy.
“For example, watermelon and parsnips are high GI foods, while chocolate cake has a lower GI value.”
Type 2 diabetes – do you have it?
- 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.
According to the NHS, you should see a GP if you have any of the symptoms of type 2 diabetes or you’re worried you may have a higher risk of getting type 2 diabetes.
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