Manage and reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes
Six tips from Dr David Cavan, the UK’s leading expert on diabetes self-management and author of Reverse Your Diabetes: The Step-by-Step Plan to Take Control of Type 2 Diabetes.
- Limit yourself to two standard alcoholic drinks a day. Alcohol is high in calories and can lead to weight gain and increased risk of type 2 diabetes. Moderate alcohol intake is associated with reduced risk of type 2 diabetes. Cider, sweet wines and some beers are best avoided as the can have high sugar or carbohydrate content.
- Drink water, coffee or tea instead of fruit juice and fizzy drinks. Sugar-sweetened beverages increase the risk of type 2 diabetes including fruit juices and smoothies. Caffeine may be beneficial but only as unsweetened tea or coffee – not a latte or cappuccino.
- Eat at least three servings of green leafy vegetables every day. These contain vitamins, fibre and are very low in calories. Starchy vegetables, such as potatoes are best eaten in moderation as they can have a similar effect as sugar in leading to a rapid rise in blood glucose. Eating more than three pieces of fruit a day does not appear to protect from type 2 diabetes.
- Snack on a piece of fruit, a handful of nuts or unsweetened yoghurt. They’re low in sugar, as opposed to biscuits, chocolate bars and cakes which are high in sugar, fat and calories.
- Choose poultry, fish or lean cuts of white meat. Red and processed meats are associated with increased risk of type 2 diabetes and some cancers. Meals prepared with fresh, unprocessed meat are preferable to ready-made or ‘fast food’ meals.
- Buy whole-grain bread, rice and pasta. White bread and white rice are turned into glucose rapidly; excess consumption of white rice is associated with increased risk of type 2 diabete