Diabetes – taking control

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Diabetes medication

Once a month, I hold a Diabetes Clinic with a GP and Diabetes Nurse at one of the local surgeries in Kingston. There is a constant stream of patients looking for help with what they are eating to help to control their blood sugar levels or to lose weight. I hope I make a difference for them, using the most up to date scientific evidence combined with 13 years of practical experience.

Type 2 Diabetes does not have to be a disease that gets worse over time. It is possible to keep your blood sugar under control by eating the right things. It is possible to reduce diabetes medication.

Contrary to the outdated advice that many UK health professionals are giving, a diabetes diet is not the same as a healthy eating or weight loss diet. The problem for diabetics is that the body has difficulty keeping blood sugar levels down. Sugar in the blood comes from the food that we eat. The foods that turn into different types of sugar as soon as they reach the stomach are called carbohydrates. This means sugar (as in sugary drinks, fruit juice, sweets) and starch (as in bread, pasta, rice and potatoes). The science shows that avoiding these foods can improve blood sugar levels and halt the progression of diabetes.

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All carbohydrate foods will increase blood sugar levels

The more carbohydrates we eat in a meal, the more sugar is absorbed into the blood stream. The more sugar that’s absorbed into the blood stream, the higher the blood sugar will be. Here is an example of how a high carbohydrate meal (sandwich, fruit and flavoured yogurt) affects the blood sugar levels compared to a low carbohydrate meal (beef, vegetables and a creamy sauce):

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High carbohydrate meal (red) Low carbohydrate meal (green)

Outside of the UK e.g. in Sweden and America, the medical community is recognising the benefits of reducing carbohydrates. The American Diabetic Association has approved lowering carbohydrates since 2008. Unfortunately, in the UK, official dietary advice has been slow to catch up! Advice from health professionals continues to be ‘a balanced healthy diet’ including plenty of carbohydrate foods. Unfortunately, for people with diabetes, carbohydrate foods are not healthy! There are however, lots of delicious foods that you can eat Are you confused and don’t know what to think?

Try it yourself for a few weeks and monitor the effect. Here are some examples of what you can expect:

  • Improved blood sugar levels from when you reduce the carbohydrate foods
  • Increased feelings of fullness and weight loss
  • Reduced sugar cravings
  • Many people with bloating experience considerable improvements

Note for diabetics

Avoiding the carbohydrates that raise your blood sugar decreases your need for medication to lower it. Taking the same pre-low-carb diet dose of insulin might result in hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). You need to test your blood sugar frequently when starting this diet and adapt (lower) your medication. This should ideally be done with the assistance of your doctor or diabetes nurse. If you’re healthy or a diabetic treated either by diet alone or just with Metformin there is no risk of hypoglycemia.

If you would like some help and guidance with controlling blood sugar levels with your diet, then contact me on 07758 100727, or use a contact form.

 

 

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