Type 2 diabetes: Three exotic foods that could lower blood sugar
Type 2 diabetes is a condition that causes a person’s body not to respond to insulin properly. When this happens, the body doesn’t produce enough insulin, making blood glucose levels too high. If type 2 diabetes is left untreated, serious health complications can follow, such as nerve damage, kidney failure, heart attack and stroke. Eating a healthy diet is one way to prevent the condition and manage blood glucose levels.
While there’s nothing you can’t eat if you have type 2 diabetes, some foods should be limited.
To keep blood glucose levels in check, experts say you should eat a wide range of foods and keep sugar, fat and salt to a minimum.
This is a general rule to follow, but specific foods have also been found to have blood sugar-lowering properties.
Here are three exotic foods you may not often eat, but have been shown to improve blood glucose control.
Some studies have suggested shirataki noodles, traditional Japanese noodles, can help lower blood glucose levels.
These noodles have proven effective in diabetes patients because they’re high in the fibre glucomannan, which is extracted from konjac root.
One study titled ‘Glycemic and lipid responses to glucomannan in Thais with type 2 diabetes mellitus’ showed glucomannan could reduce blood sugar levels after eating and improve heart disease risk factors in people with diabetes.
Another study, ‘Immediate and long-term effects of glucomannan on total ghrelin and leptin in type 2 diabetes mellitus’, showed how glucomannan makes you feel fuller and more satisfied and lowers the levels of hunger hormone ghrelin.
Feeling fuller for longer is important as it helps maintain weight – being overweight is a risk factor for developing type 2 diabetes.
Black beans, which are a popular ingredient in Latin American and Mexican cooking, are believed to be an excellent food option for people with diabetes.
Being a complex carbohydrate, studies have shown the body digests black beans slower than it does other carbohydrates, helping people manage their blood sugar levels.
Eating black beans can also help with weight loss and help regulate cholesterol, which are beneficial for someone with diabetes.
Seaweed is most commonly eaten in Asian countries such as Japan, Korea and China.
An eight-week study in 60 Japanese people found fucoxanthin, a substance in brown seaweed, may help improve blood sugar control.
As part of the research, participants received a local seaweed oil that contained either 0mg, 1mg or 2mg of fucoxanthin.
It was then found those who received 2mg of fucoxanthin had improved blood sugar levels, competed to the group who received 0mg.