Type 2 diabetes is a condition that involves problems with not getting enough glucose into the cells. Food plays a huge role in a type 2 diabetes and can either help or hinder the condition. Foods with high sugar content, trans-fat, white bread and starchy vegetables, are all classified as the ‘wrong’ type of food which can raise blood sugar and insulin levels and promote inflammation which may increase the risk of disease. Over time, high levels can damage your body’s nerves and blood vessels, which may set the stage for heart disease and kidney disease.
Carbs, protein and fat are classified as macronutrients that provide the body with energy.
They have the greatest effect on your blood sugar as they are broken down into sugar, or glucose and absorbed in the bloodstream.
When type 2 diabetics consume too much starchy vegetables or carbs, their blood sugar levels rise to dangerously high levels.
However all is not lost, as a popular starchy vegetable has been proven to help lower the blood sugar levels in type 2 diabetics.
Sweet potatoes are unlike other starchy vegetables and are considered to be an ‘anti-diabetic’ food.
The fibre helps with the blood glucose control and weight management and the potassium helps control blood.
Sweet potatoes help balance the blood sugar and research has shown that they contain adiponectin, the same hormones that are release from fat cells.
Adiponectin improves metabolism and insulin regulation.
Some research also indicates the flesh of the sweet potato contains more fibre than the skin, which indicates the whole vegetable could be beneficial in lowering blood sugar.
Sweet potatoes are a perfect accompaniment to a protein and compared to white potatoes they are lower on the glycemic index and provide vitamin A for good eye health.
The fibre helps with blood glucose control and weight management and the potassium helps to control the blood pressure.
Sweet potatoes are not only delicious and naturally sweet, they are also a nutritional powerhouse.
There are numerous recipes for different things you can do with sweet potatoes some of these include:
It is always important to try and maintain a healthy well-balanced diet to prevent and control type 2 diabetes.
Dietician Helen Bond said: “The Mediterranean diet is ranked number one best diet overall for the second year running. It’s crowning was fundamentally down to it’s simplicity, likelihood of aiding short and long-term weight loss, and effectiveness agains cardiovascular disease and diabetes.”
Symptoms of type 2 diabetes:
- Frequent urination
- Increased thirst
- Constant hunger
- Blurry vision
- Slow healing cuts and wounds
- Tingling, numbness or pain in hands or feet
- Feeling very tired
NHS said: “Sweet potatoes do count towards your 5 a day because they’re usually eaten in addition to the starchy food part of the meal. It’s best to eat them without any added salt or fat. They’re also a good source of fibre, so leave the skins on where possible to keep in more of the fibre and vitamins.”
It is always important to watch out for symptoms of type 2 diabetes and you should speak with your doctor if you suspect you might have the condition.