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Type 2 diabetes: Including this food in your Christmas dinner could lower blood sugar

Type 2 diabetes causes a person’s body to lose control of the amount of blood sugar (glucose) in the blood. The body doesn’t respond to insulin properly, and may not produce enough, causing blood sugar levels to become too high. If the condition is left untreated, complications which may occur include kidney failure, nerve damage, heart disease and stroke. So what can you do to lower blood sugar levels or keep them under control during the festive season?

Potatoes are considered a starchy vegetable and a healthy carb. They’re high in fibre, low in calories, and include vitamins and minerals.

Most potato varieties have a higher glycemic index (GI).

The GI rates different foods as high (GI above 70), medium (GI of 56 to 69), and low (GI of 55 or less).

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The GI ratings are based on how the food affects blood sugar levels.

READ MORE: Type 2 diabetes: Experts agree this edit will keep blood sugar levels low – what is it?

Type 2 diabetes: There is a food item that could help lower blood sugar (Image: Getty Images)

Even though it’s a complex carbohydrate, some potatoes increase blood sugar levels faster than other types of complex carbs.

This is because the body processes high GI complex carbs faster than those with a low or medium GI.

To avoid higher glucose levels, a person should control their portion sizes.

Are carbohydrates good for you

Diabetes UK said on their website: “Many of us rely on carbohydrates as our main source of energy.

“Carbohydrate-containing foods also provide important nutrients for good health.

“Everyone needs some carbohydrate-containing foods in their diet.

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“The actual amount that you need to eat will depend on your age, activity levels and the goals you are trying to achieve.”

Type 2 diabetes: Potatoes are relatively low in GI and in moderation could lower blood sugar (Image: Getty Images)

What’s the healthiest way to have potatoes

Rather than bake, boil, or fry regular potatoes, prepare yams or sweet potatoes.

Both are low-fat, low-calorie, and help stabilise blood sugar.

Unlike potatoes that have a high GI, sweet potatoes and yams have a low to medium GI based on how they’re prepared. Keeping the skin on the sweet potato lowers the GI more due to the fibre content.

When it comes to tucking in to your favourite treats during Christmas, it’s important to always be mindful of portion size.

Making sensible food choices, filling up on vegetables and monitoring the amount of alcohol consumed are all ways to ensure blood sugar levels remain healthy.

Diabetes UK recommends that men should have a maximum of three to four units of alcohol and women a maximum of two to three units.

If a person takes insulin or some types of tablets, alcohol can lower blood glucose levels and therefore increase the risk of having a hypo, which is where a person’s blood glucose level falls dangerously low.

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