BEING diabetic can be tough as you constantly have to think about balancing your blood sugar levels.
That can be even harder first thing in the morning and experts have said there is one fruit that could be your new breakfast staple – as it can help you control your blood sugar levels.
Experts at the Department of Human Ecology at the University of Maryland in the US found that blueberries are a rich source of polyphenols, which includes anthocyanin bioactive compounds.
Anthocyanins possess antidiabetic, anticancer, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and anti-obesity effects, as well as prevention of cardiovascular diseases, experts say.
In a research paper they stated: "Epidemiological evidence indicates that incorporating blueberries into the diet may lower the risk of developing type 2 diabetes."
The findings of their 2016 study showed improvements in insulin resistance in obese insulin-resistant rodents or humans who consumed blueberries.
It's important to note that while this study was conducted on both humans and rodents, it's not clear what the split was and that what works on a rodent will not necessarily work for a human being.
The experts assessed insulin resistance on a model and performed insulin intolerance tests.
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"Additionally, the improvements in glucose tolerance after blueberry consumption were assessed by glucose tolerance tests.
"However, firm conclusions regarding the anti-diabetic effect of blueberries cannot be drawn due to the small number of existing clinical studies.
"Although the current evidence is promising, more long-term, randomised, and placebo-controlled trials are needed to establish the role of blueberries in preventing or delaying T2DM (type 2 diabetes)", they said.
You should still not eat over the recommended portion of blueberries as they contain naturally occurring sugars.
With type 1 diabetes, a person’s pancreas produces no insulin, but in type 2, cells in the body become resistant to insulin, so a greater amount of insulin is needed to keep blood glucose levels within a normal range.
Experts have previously discussed other foods you can eat at breakfast time to help control your blood sugar levels.
Scientists found in 2018 that starting the day with a high-protein milk meal could help keep type 2 diabetes at bay, and even help you to lose weight.
If you fancy some toast in the morning, just make sure to stick to the wholemeal stuff.
Diabetes UK says: “Switch from white toast to wholegrain versions like seeded batch bread, multi-seed, granary, soya and linseed.
“These are better for your diabetes and digestive health. They're more filling, too.”
Oats are a great choice for some people with type 2 diabetes thanks to having a lower glycemic index.
“Generally, lower GI foods can be useful for managing blood glucose levels,” Diabetes UK says.
Oats also have a good fibre content, which is key for maintaining weight and digestive health, and can protect the heart, which is important because people with type 2 diabetes are prone to heart disease.
KNOW YOUR LEVELS
It's important to not confuse high blood sugar with hypoglycaemia, which is when a person's blood sugar level drops too low, the NHS states.
The condition can impact both people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes as well as pregnant women with gestational diabetes.
It can sometimes affect people who don't have diabetes, but this will usually be in people who have recently had a heart attack or stroke.
There are many symptoms of high blood sugar and one of the most prominent is an increased thirst and dry mouth.
Other symptoms include tiredness, blurred vision, unintentional weight loss, tummy pain or feeling or being sick.
Esther Walden, Senior Clinical Advisor at Diabetes UK said that if you’re living with type 2 diabetes, managing your blood sugar levels is important in keeping healthy day-to-day, as well as reducing your risk of serious long-term complications such as heart disease, sight loss and stroke.
Diabetics are urged to monitor their sugar levels and if you're diabetic it's likely you will have been given a device so you can do this at home.
You will be told what your average blood sugar level is and this is referred to as your HbA1c level.
While they differ for everyone, the NHS says that if you monitor your levels at home then a normal target is 4 to 7mmol/l before eating and under 8.5 to 9mmol/l 2 hours after a meal.
If it's tested every few months then a normal HbA1c target is below 48mmol/mol (or 6.5% on the older measurement scale).
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