Type 2 diabetes is a condition that affects a person’s ability to control their blood glucose (sugar) levels. The body fails to produce enough insulin in order to function properly, resulting in a dangerous rise of blood glucose levels. If the condition is left untreated, complications that can occur include nerve damage, kidney problems, and even heart attack. But some simple lifestyle changes can help prevent and control high blood glucose levels.
One lifestyle factor to consider when it comes to blood glucose levels is diet.
While there’s nothing you can’t eat if you have type 2 diabetes, there’s certain foods that should be limited.
Experts recommend eating a wide range of foods, including fruit, vegetables and some starchy foods like pasta.
But sugar, fat and salt should be kept to a minimum.
However, certain foods have been found to hold blood sugar lowering properties, and a surprising sweet treat may hold the key to keeping blood glucose levels in check.
Dark chocolate has been proven to be beneficial to blood glucose levels.
A six-month study published in 2018 looked at the relationship between regular dark chocolate consuming and blood glucose levels among Hispanic individuals.
The research suggested eating 48g of 70 per cent dark chocolate each day may help lower fasting glucose levels and reduce insulin resistance.
Dark chocolate is believed to be beneficial to blood glucose levels because it contains cacao.
Cacao are bean-like seeds that are usually ground down to produce a bitter-tasting powder to make chocolate.
It contains lots of nutrients, including the flavonoid epicatechin, which may help regular blood sugar levels.
A review published in 2017 looked at the finding of several small studies which suggested cacao can help slow the progression of type 2 diabetes and reduce insulin resistance.
It’s important to note dark chocolate should eaten in moderation, as eating too much could still cause blood glucose levels to spike.
One type of chocolate you should avoid is ‘diabetic’ chocolate.
Diabetes UK advises: “We do not recommend ‘diabetic’ chocolate. Diabetic chocolate is just as high in fat and calories as ordinary chocolate, it can still raise blood glucose levels and is often more expensive than regular chocolate.
“To say food is a diabetic food is now against the law. This is because there isn’t any evidence that these foods offer you a special benefit over eating healthy. These foods can also sometimes have a laxative effect.”
There are six more surprising foods that could lower blood sugar.