Type 2 diabetes is a condition that results in the body struggling to produce enough insulin. When this happens, blood sugar levels can rise to a dangerous level. If high blood sugar levels are left untreated, a number of complications can occur, including kidney problems, nerve damage and heart attack. Some simple lifestyle changes can help keep blood sugar levels in check, one being eating a healthy diet.
There’s nothing you can’t eat say experts, but certain foods should be limited.
For example sugar, fat and salt should be kept to a minimum.
Certain food and drink have been found to be more beneficial to blood sugar levels than others.
Three drinks which could help control blood sugar are black tea, tomato juice and kombucha.
And when it comes to alcoholic drinks, a better choice for blood sugar levels is Prosecco.
Black tea was found to help type 2 diabetes in a study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.
As part of the research, black tea and green tea were given to diabetic rats for three months.
Alongside inhibiting diabetic cataracts, the tea was found to have a blood sugar-lowering effect.
The researchers wrote: “Black and green tea represent a potentially inexpensive, nontoxic, and, in fact, pleasurable [blood-sugar-lowering] agent.
“Tea may be a simple, inexpensive means of preventing or retarding human diabetes and the ensuring complications.”
But the researchers did also note that further studied are required to see if black and green tea has anti diabetes effects in humans.
Tomato juice was found in one study to reduce blood pressure and cholesterol in people at risk of heart disease.
The 481 Japanese participants in the study were provided with as much unsalted tomato juice as they wanted for a whole year.
They kept “tomato juice diaries” in which they recorded exactly how much they consumed each day, in addition to any health changes they noticed.
Blood pressure dropped by three per cent on average in 94 participants with untreated pre-hypertension or hypertension, according to the findings published in the journal Food Science and Nutrition.
Among those with high cholesterol, 125 experienced a 3.3 per cent average fall in the fatty substance which can block blood vessels causing heart attacks and strokes.
The beneficial effects were similar among men, women and different age groups, according to the research team from the Tokyo Medical and Dental University.
But Victoria Taylor, senior dietitian at the British Heart Foundation (BHF), did note more research is needed to accurately represent the health benefits of tomato juice.
Kombucha is a fermented food meaning its rich in probiotics, which is a beneficial bacteria that plays an important role in maintaining gut health.
In a review of nine studies, eating probiotics was found to have a modest effect on high blood pressure.
More enhanced effects were noted when participants consumed multiple species of probiotic bacteria, consumed probiotics regularly for more than eight weeks, and consumed at least 100 billion colony-forming units a day.
Other examples of fermented foods include natural yoghurt, kimchi, miso and tempeh.
Alcohol isn’t a risk factor for type 2 diabetes, but it can contain a lot of calories which can lead to putting on weight, and this can increase the risk of the condition developing.
Certain types of alcoholic drink can also cause blood sugar to spike more than others.
Diabetes UK says Prosecco may be a better choice when it comes to alcoholic drinks.
It states: “Some drinks like beers, ales and ciders contain carbs and will increase your blood sugar levels.”
Dry wines and spirits may also be better choices, but the charity says you should opt for diet or sugar-free mixers.
It adds: “If a friend gets one [a drink] for you, make it clear what you need.”