Type 2 diabetes causes the body not to respond to insulin properly, and it may not produce enough, which leads to blood sugar levels becoming too high. If the condition is left untreated, a number of problems can occur, including kidney failure, nerve damage, heart disease and stroke, so doing what you can to control blood sugar levels and prevent the condition is very important.
Regularly eating a poor diet is one of the risk factors for developing type 2 diabetes, so making changes to the food you eat is recommended.
The NHS says there’s nothing you cannot eat if you have type 2 diabetes, but certain foods should be limited.
It states: “Eat a wide range of foods – including fruit, vegetables and some starchy foods like pasta, keep sugar, fat and salt to a minimum, and eat breakfast, lunch and dinner every day – do not skip meals.”
But individual food and drink have also been found to hold blood sugar lowering properties.
READ MORE: Type 2 diabetes: The simple lifestyle change to put the condition in remission
One food which has become increasingly popular to have at breakfast and been shown to prevent diabetes is avocado.
Researchers have shown how a compound found only in avocados can inhibit cellular processes int he pancreas that normally lead to diabetes.
Commenting on the research, Dr Sarah Brewer, who’s on the CuraLife advisory board, said: “While avocado is often thought of as a vegetable, it is in fact a fruit. Unlike most other fruit, avocados are low in sugar and rich in oils.
“As much as 30 percent of the weight of avocado pulp consists of oils, of which 80 percent are beneficial monounsaturated fats similar to those found in olive oil. Although they have a high energy content, avocados also have one of the highest protein content of any fruit.”
Many people avoid eating avocados because of their high fat and calorie content.
But Dr Brewer advised: “But they can aid weight loss and are beneficial if you have diabetes.
“The main sugar found in avocado is a unique form known as D-mannopheptulose which does not act like a conventional sugar. It helps to satisfy sensations of hunger and supports improved blood glucose control and weight management.
“Together with their protein content, avocados are particularly filling so you tend to eat less overall.
“The monounsaturated fat content of avocado also has benefits for glucose control. Research shows that replacing a low-fat, complex-carbohydrate rich diet with an avocado-rich diet can significantly improve blood glucose levels in people with type 2 diabetes.”
The research from the University of Guelph suggests avocado may even protect against type 2 diabetes by inhibiting some of the abnormal cell metabolic processes that occur in diabetes.
Dr Brewer explained more about the findings: “A particular molecule that is unique to avocados, and known as avocatin B can reduce insulin resistance in skeletal muscle and pancreas cells.
“Healthy volunteers who took avocatin B extracts as a dietary supplement lost some weight while continuing to eat their normal diet, and no safety concerns were highlighted. Trials in people with type 2 diabetes are now planned.”
Pharmacists and other healthcare professionals are providing increasing support for people who prefer to take more control over their own health.
And Dr Brewer said healing systems such as Ayurveda, which uses more natural approaches such as herbal medicines, are also increasing in popularity.
She said: “Medicine is moving away from the old paradigm of ‘diagnose and treat’ towards one of ‘self-help and prevent’.”
Dr Brewer also recommended: “The blend of 10 Ayurvedic herbs within CuraLin have a range of beneficial effects on glucose control and metabolism.
“As a result, users report that their glucose control quickly improves and, in some cases, normalises within four weeks. Users also report reduced cravings for sweet food, and experience improved energy, sleep and general quality of life.”