TYPE 2 diabetes can be controlled by following a diabetes-friendly diet that is low in sugar and calories, but research has also shown adding certain foods to your diet can also help to improve blood sugar levels. Pulses have been found to be beneficial to people with diabetes, with one particular “star” pulse.
Diabetes is a condition in which the level of sugar in the blood is too high. For people with type 2 diabetes, this is because their bodies don’t produce enough insulin, or because the body’s cells reject it. Insulin is needed to control the level of sugar in the blood and transfer it to the cells to be turned into energy. If insulin is unable to do this, too much sugar will remain in the blood, which can lead to serious health complications with the heart, kidneys, nerves, eyes and feet.
People with type 2 diabetes can control the condition by cutting down on sugar and other unhealthy foods, while keeping the number of calories they consume in check.
This is because being overweight increases the risk of diabetes-associated complications.
But in addition to cutting down on unhealthy foods, diabetes can be controlled by adding certain foods to your diet containing properties favourable to blood sugar and insulin resistance.
According to dietitian Juliette Kellow, one type of food that is beneficial to people with diabetes is pulses.
Pulses are the dried seeds of legume plants, such as beans, chickpeas, lentils and dried peas.
In one study, it was found regularly consuming large portions of pulses improved blood sugar control, making them ideal for people with type 2 diabetes.
The study involved participants eating 200g, or 7oz, portions of pulses five times a week.
Another large study found women who ate the highest, compared with the lowest, amounts of pulses reduced their risk of developing type 2 diabetes by nearly a quarter.
All types of pulses have an array of health benefits, according to Kellow, who highlights kidney beans as being particularly beneficial to diabetes.
“Kidney beans are the star of the pulse world for their high fibre content, which is important for weight management and those with type 2 diabetes, plus they’re rich in antioxidants,” said the dietitian.
Other types of beans which fall into the pulses family include haricot beans, black-eyed beans and black beans.
Kellow advises all people to include pulses in their diets, whether they have diabetes or not.
Studies show a daily serving of 80g, or 3oz, of pulses offer the best health benefits, and the dietitian recommends choosing a variety of pulses to ensure a range of nutrients.
All beans are nutrient rich, but canned varieties are a little less so than dried versions. If using canned pulses, choose those in water without added sugar or salt.
“Good intakes of pulses are linked to a host of health benefits, reducing the risk of many age-related problems, including heart disease and type 2 diabetes,” said Kellow.
“They’re also a great weight-loss food, and an excellent source of nutrients for all.”
Source – Express.co.uk