Sugars And Type 2 Diabetes
What is type 2 diabetes?
Diabetes is a lifelong condition that causes a persons blood sugar to be too high. There are two forms of diabetes: type 1 and type 2 . Insulin is a hormone that is key in regulating blood glucose levels. Type 2 diabetes can occur either as a result of insulin receptors becoming desensitised and as a result no longer responding to insulin or, due to the beta cells of the pancreas no longer producing insulin. Often it is a combination of these two factors that leads to this condition known as type 2 diabetes.
Type 2 diabetes is by far the most common type of all the adults who have diabetes, 90% of them have type 2. Diabetes is an increasing health problem in the UK with 3.2million people diagnosed with diabetes and a further 850,000 estimated to be undiagnosed . Diabetes is a growing health burden and it is estimated that by 2025, 5 million people will have been diagnosed in the UK . Diabetes is the leading cause of blindness in the UK and the diseases complications cause more than 100 amputations to take place each week. Each year, 24 000 people die early from diabetes-associated complications . Its total cost is estimated at £13.8billion each year . It is predicted that the annual NHS cost of the direct treatment of diabetes in the UK will increase to £16.9 billion over the next 25 years, which is 17 per cent of the NHS budget , believed to potentially bankrupt the NHS
What are the causes of Type 2 diabetes?
Tooth Decay And Sugar
Sugar is one of the main causes of tooth decay.
To prevent tooth decay, reduce the amount of food and drinks you have that contain free sugars such as sweets, chocolates, cakes, biscuits, sugary breakfast cereals, jams, honey, fruit smoothies and dried fruit and limit them to mealtimes.
The sugars found naturally in fruit and vegetables are less likely to cause tooth decay, because theyâre contained within the structure.
But when fruit and vegetables are juiced or blended into a smoothie, the sugars are released. Once released, these sugars can damage teeth.
Limit the amount of fruit juice and smoothies you drink to a maximum of 150ml in total per day, and drink it with meals to reduce the risk of tooth decay.
Squashes sweetened with sugar, fizzy drinks, soft drinks and juice drinks have no place in a childâs daily diet.
If youâre looking after children, swap any sugary drinks for water, lower-fat milk or sugar-free drinks.
When Should I Check My Blood Sugar
How often you check your blood sugar depends on the type of diabetes you have and if you take any diabetes medicines.
Typical times to check your blood sugar include:
- When you first wake up, before you eat or drink anything.
- Two hours after a meal.
If you have type 1 diabetes, have type 2 diabetes and take insulin, or often have low blood sugar, your doctor may want you to check your blood sugar more often, such as before and after youre physically active.
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Type 1 Vs Type 2 Diabetes: Whats The Difference
Type 2 diabetes is not the same as Type 1 diabetes. In Type 1 diabetes, your pancreas doesnt make any insulin. In Type 2, your pancreas doesnt make enough insulin, and the insulin it is making doesnt always work as it should. Both types are forms of diabetes mellitus, meaning they lead to hyperglycemia .
Type 2 diabetes usually affects older adults, though its becoming more common in children. Type 1 diabetes usually develops in children or young adults, but people of any age can get it.
Portion Size Is Important
Ripeness isnt the only factor when it comes to the amount of sugar in your banana size also matters. The bigger the banana, the more carbs you will be getting.
This means a larger banana will have a greater effect on your blood sugar level. This portion-size effect is called the glycemic load.
Glycemic load is calculated by multiplying the GI of a food by the number of carbs in a serving and then dividing that number by 100.
A score of less than 10 is considered low, 1119 is medium, and 20 or more is high.
Bananas vary in size, from about 18.535 grams.
If a banana is fully ripe , then its glycemic load could range from 11 for a very small banana to 22 for a very large banana.
To ensure that your blood sugar doesnt rise too much, its important to be aware of the size of the banana youre eating.
The size of the banana you eat determines its effect on your blood sugar level. The larger the banana, the more carbs youll consume and the greater the rise in your blood sugar will be.
Unlike refined sugar products such as candy and cake, the carbs in fruits like bananas come with fiber, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals.
More specifically, bananas provide fiber, potassium, vitamin B6, and vitamin C. They also contain some antioxidants and beneficial plant compounds .
For most people with diabetes, fruits including bananas are a healthy choice.
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Carbohydrate Guidelines For Type 2 Diabetes
Carbohydrates are an essential part of a healthy diet. But carbs also raise your blood sugar. When you have , its important to aim for a balanced carb intake. It can seem confusing and a little overwhelming at first, but dont be discouraged. Your doctor, diabetes educator, or can help you find a meal plan that works for you.
Foods that contain carbohydrates include:
Grains, such as breads, cereals, pasta, and rice
Fruits and fruit juices
Dairy foods, such as milk and yogurt
Sweets, such as cookies, pastries, cakes and candy
Snack foods, such as potato chips
To find the carb content of a food, check the amount of total carbohydrate on the food label. Be sure to look at the serving amount as well. If youre eating twice as much as the listed serving, youll need to double the total carbs. If a food doesnt have a label, there are many apps and books available to help you track carbs. One great free tool is MyFoodAdvisor from the American Diabetes Association. At first, you may need to look up almost everything. But with time, youll start to learn how many carbs are in your favorite foods and dishes.
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What Are Blood Sugar Targets
A blood sugar target is the range you try to reach as much as possible. These are typical targets:
- Before a meal: 80 to 130 mg/dL.
- Two hours after the start of a meal: Less than 180 mg/dL.
Your blood sugar targets may be different depending on your age, any additional health problems you have, and other factors. Be sure to talk to your health care team about which targets are best for you.
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What Is A Normal Blood Sugar Level With Type 2 Diabetes
The American Diabetes Association¹ recommends the following blood sugar levels in those with type 2 diabetes:
Between 80 and 130 mg/dL before meals
Less than 180 mg/dL two hours after meals
Your doctor, however, may recommend goals more tailored to your unique situation. If you have other medical conditions, such as heart disease, or are above 60 years old, your blood sugar goals may be higher than those outlined above.
Why Smoking And Prediabetes Are A Deadly Combination
Smoking can increase your risk of developing type 2 diabetes, especially if youve already been diagnosed with prediabetes. In fact, it can decrease blood from flowing to your muscles and elevate stress levels all of which increases your risk of insulin resistance. Preliminary research also suggests nicotine may affect blood sugar control.
Here are some proven ways you can quit smoking:
- Individual, group, or telephone counseling
- Treatment delivered via a mobile phone
- Nicotine replacement products, like over-the-counter nicotine patches, gum, or lozenges, or prescription inhalers or nasal sprays
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What Should A Type 2 Diabetes Meal Plan Include
Ask your healthcare provider or a nutritionist to recommend a meal plan thats right for you. In general, a Type 2 diabetes meal plans should include:
- Lean proteins: Proteins low in saturated fats include chicken, eggs and seafood. Plant-based proteins include tofu, nuts and beans.
- Minimally processed carbohydrates: Refined carbs like white bread, pasta and potatoes can cause your blood sugar to increase quickly. Choose carbs that cause a more gradual blood sugar increase such as whole grains like oatmeal, brown rice and whole-grain pasta.
- No added salt: Too much sodium, or salt, can increase your blood pressure. Lower your sodium by avoiding processed foods like those that come in cans or packages. Choose salt-free spices and use healthy oils instead of salad dressing.
- No added sugars: Avoid sugary foods and drinks, such as pies, cakes and soda. Choose water or unsweetened tea to drink.
- Non-starchy vegetables: These vegetables are lower in carbohydrates, so they dont cause blood sugar spikes. Examples include broccoli, carrots and cauliflower.
How Much Sugar Can We Eat
The government recommends that free sugars sugars added to food or drinks, and sugars found naturally in honey, syrups, and unsweetened fruit and vegetable juices, smoothies and purÃ©es should not make up more than 5% of the energy you get from food and drink each day.
- Adults should have no more than 30g of free sugars a day, .
- Children aged 7 to 10 should have no more than 24g of free sugars a day .
- Children aged 4 to 6 should have no more than 19g of free sugars a day .
- Thereâs no guideline limit for children under the age of 4, but itâs recommended they avoid sugar-sweetened drinks and food with sugar added to it. Find out more about what to feed young children.
Free sugars are found in foods such as sweets, cakes, biscuits, chocolate, and some fizzy drinks and juice drinks. These are the sugary foods we should cut down on.
For example, a can of cola can have as much as 9 cubes of sugar more than the recommended daily limit for adults.
Find out what the top sources of free sugars are.
Sugars also occur naturally in foods such as fruit, vegetables and milk, but we do not need to cut down on these types of sugars.
Be aware that these are included along with free sugars in the âtotal sugarsâ figure that youâll see on food labels.
Find out more about nutrition labels and sugar for help on how to tell the difference.
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Can You Eat Honey If You Have Diabetes
Experts used to recommend that people with diabetes avoid all foods with added sugar. Now some say itÃ¢s OK to eat them in small amounts as part of a healthy diet. But if you take insulin, itÃ¢s very important to count the number of carbohydrates that you take each day. That helps you determine the correct dose of insulin you should take.
Staying on top of the number of carbohydrates and fiber you eat can also help you keep your blood sugar from going too high. Even if you take insulin, high blood sugar can lead to health problems over time. ThatÃ¢s why itÃ¢s a good idea to limit honey. Talk to your diabetes educator, doctor, or a dietitian who specializes in diabetes to figure out how much is safe for you.
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Make Physical Activity Part Of Your Daily Routine
Set a goal to be more physically active. Try to work up to 30 minutes or more of physical activity on most days of the week.
Brisk walking and swimming are good ways to move more. If you are not active now, ask your health care team about the types and amounts of physical activity that are right for you. Learn more about being physically active with diabetes.
Following your meal plan and being more active can help you stay at or get to a healthy weight. If you are overweight or obese, work with your health care team to create a weight-loss plan that is right for you.
Other Risk Factors For Diabetes
While consuming large amounts of added sugar is linked to an increased risk of diabetes, many other factors are at play, such as:
- Body weight: Research shows that obesity is one of the main risk factors for type 2 diabetes but that losing just 510% body weight can reduce the risk (
If reducing your intake of added sugars feels overwhelming, you can start by simply reducing your intake of sugar-sweetened beverages, which are the primary source of added sugars in the standard American diet .
This one small change could make a big impact.
Carefully reading nutrition labels is another must, since there are over 50 different names for sugar used in food products. Learning to notice them is the first step in reducing your consumption.
Thankfully, there are many ways to cut back on sugar while still enjoying a flavorful and nutrient-dense diet, so you dont have to feel deprived.
Eating fewer added sugars can reduce your risk of diabetes, as can a diet rich in fruits, vegetables and coffee with moderate alcohol consumption.
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Type 2 Diabetes: Measuring Sugar Levels In Blood And Urine Yourself
Many people with diabetes measure their blood sugar levels themselves. For those who inject insulin several times a day, checking their sugar levels with a blood glucose meter is an important part of their daily treatment.
If someone has diabetes, their blood sugar levels are checked regularly. In type 2 diabetes, once every few months is sometimes enough. But not if insulin injections are part of their treatment.This is because the amount of insulin that is injected at mealtimes depends on the measured blood sugar level, among other things. Sugar levels in blood or urine can be measured in various ways. It’s also possible to measure the level of sugar in tissues of the body.
You can learn how to measure your blood sugar yourself in special patient education classes. These are a part of diabetes disease management programs too.
Measuring Sugar In Your Urine Yourself
You can also measure the blood sugar levels in your urine on your own. Having sugar in your urine is usually a sign of very high blood sugar levels. The extra sugar in the bloodstream is usually only removed via the kidneys at blood sugar concentrations of about 10 mmol/l and above. In order to measure the amount of sugar in your urine, you need a urine test strip and a container for collecting urine.
Its important to talk with your doctor about the best time of day to do the urine test, and whether to do it before or after eating. When measuring sugar in your urine yourself, you need a sample of urine that hasnt been in your bladder for long. So you wouldn’t use morning urine which has collected overnight. Instead, its more typical to urinate and collect a sample about an hour after the last time you went to the toilet. The test strip is then dipped into the sample. After about two minutes, the color pads on the test strip show the results.
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What Physical Activities Should I Do If I Have Diabetes
Most kinds of physical activity can help you take care of your diabetes. Certain activities may be unsafe for some people, such as those with low vision or nerve damage to their feet. Ask your health care team what physical activities are safe for you. Many people choose walking with friends or family members for their activity.
Doing different types of physical activity each week will give you the most health benefits. Mixing it up also helps reduce boredom and lower your chance of getting hurt. Try these options for physical activity.