If you have type 2 diabetes, blood sugar levels – the main type of sugar found in blood – can rise to dangerous levels. That’s because the main mechanism for controlling blood sugar levels is severely hampered. Insulin is normally tasked with regulating blood sugar. Fortunately, you can find alternative means of controlling high blood sugar.
What you put into your body is central to this effort.
The key is to find ways of moderating the impact of carbohydrates, which are broken down into blood glucose (sugar) relatively fast, thereby causing blood sugar spikes.
According to research, consuming tomato juice before carbohydrates can soften the blow the food has on blood sugar levels.
In the study, 25 healthy women consumed either 200 grams of tomato juice, tomato, or water (control) at 30 minutes before consuming 200 grams of boiled white rice at 9am and consumed identical lunch at 1pm for three days.
The blood glucose concentrations were measured by self-monitoring blood glucose at 0, 30, 45, 60, 90, 150, and 210 minutes pre and post-breakfast, and at 0, 30, 60, 120, 150, and 180 min pre and post-lunch.
The concentration levels of postprandial glucose (average blood sugar after eating) were compared among three days.
What did the researchers find out?
Blood glucose concentrations at 60 minutes and 90 minutes after consuming tomato juice 30 minutes before carbohydrates were all “significantly” lower than those of water, the researchers wrote.
They concluded: “Consuming tomato juice half hour before carbohydrate ameliorates the postprandial blood glucose concentrations, although total amounts of energy and carbohydrate of tomato juice are higher than those of water.”
Low or medium GI foods are broken down more slowly and cause a gradual rise in blood sugar levels over time.
They include some fruit and vegetables, pulses and wholegrain foods, such as porridge oats.
“Some low GI foods, such as wholegrain foods, fruit, vegetables, beans and lentils, are foods we should eat as part of a healthy, balanced diet,” notes the NHS.
Type 2 diabetes – symptoms to spot
Many people have type 2 diabetes without realising. This is because symptoms do not necessarily make you feel unwell.
Symptoms of type 2 diabetes include:
- Peeing more than usual, particularly at night
- Feeling thirsty all the time
- Feeling very tired
- Losing weight without trying to
- Itching around your penis or vagina, or repeatedly getting thrush
- Cuts or wounds taking longer to heal
- Blurred vision.
“See a GP if you have any of the symptoms of type 2 diabetes or you’re worried you may have a higher risk of getting type 2 diabetes,” advises the NHS.
The health body adds: “You’ll need a blood test, which you may have to go to your local health centre for if it cannot be done at your GP surgery.”