Type 2 diabetes: Best diet to help lower blood sugar – and what foods you should eat

Type 2 diabetes is a condition that causes a person’s blood glucose (sugar) level to become too high. The pancreas releases insulin when the body breaks down carbohydrates from food and drink and turns it into glucose. Type 2 diabetics however have a tougher time as the pancreas tires out due to the insulin not working properly and blood sugar levels then rise. This means that type 2 diabetics make less insulin, causing higher blood sugar levels – a condition known as hyperglycaemia.

A type 2 diabetic can manage and monitor their condition by following a healthy diet and one that has been highly recommended is the Ketogenic diet.

These high blood sugar levels can cause serious life-threatening complications.

A type 2 diabetic can manage and monitor their condition by following a healthy diet and one that has been highly recommended is the Ketogenic diet.

The diet follows the principle of a low-carb and high-fat diet, similar to the Atkins diet. It involves drastically reducing carbohydrate intake and replacing it with fat, this in turn puts the body into a metabolic state called ketosis and produces a fuel source called ketones.

Studies on ketogenic diets have found they can help control levels of HbA1c. This refers to the amount of glucose travelling in the blood over three months. 

The ketogenic diet can also help you lose excess fat, which is closely linked to type 2 diabetes. By lowering the blood glucose levels a type 2 diabetic will see a noticeable reduction of reliance on diabetes medication.

 Other benefits of the diet include:

  • Reduces high blood pressure

  • Reduces triglyceride levels

  • Raises HDL cholesterol levels

  • Improves mental performance

To maximise weight loss on the ketogenic diet it is recommended you should follow a healthy diet with plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, to distribute your carbohydrate intake throughout the day, and eat smaller meals more often.

When exercising on the ketogenic diet it is highly recommended that you eat enough to fuel your workouts.

This is especially the case during the first few days on the ketogenic diet as you may experience flu-like symptoms including fatigue, irritability and dizziness.

You will need to adjust your ketogenic diet to fit your carb requirements for the amount of exercise you will be doing.  

During this time it is recommended to stick to low-intensity exercise such as walking and yoga.

Once your body starts to adjust to the ketosis state you can then start to ease back to your normal gym routine focussing on strength training.

If you find yourself running out of energy during your workout it is recommended to consider targeted ketogenic. 

It is advisable to consult your doctor before embarking on the ketogenic diet and to monitor the side effects, which could include a loss of salts in the body, changes in bowel habits, leg cramps and bad breath.

These side effects are temporary as your body adjusts to the new way of eating.

Some experts recommend taking supplements to lower blood sugar levels. 

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