Type 2 diabetes causes insulin – a hormone produced by the pancreas – to not work properly, and it may not produce enough, leading to blood sugar levels becoming too high. If you don’t have good control of your blood sugar levels and it stays too high, it can lead to a number of problems, including kidney failure, nerve damage, heart disease and stroke.
When it comes to preventing and controlling the condition, simple lifestyle changes such as eating a healthy diet are recommended.
Experts say there’s nothing you cannot eat if you have type 2 diabetes, but certain foods should be limited.
As some general rules you should eat a wide range of foods, including fruit, vegetables and some starchy foods like pasta, keep sugar, fat and salt to a minimum, and eat breakfast, lunch and dinner every day and not skip meals.
But is it worth following a diet plan? With so many to choose from, which one is considered best for blood sugar levels?
The keto diet, also known as the ketogenic diet, is a very low-carb, high-fat diet, which shares similarities with the Atkins diet.
It involves drastically reducing carbohydrate intake and replacing it with fat, putting the body into a metabolic state called ketosis.
Some have found low-carb diets can help improve blood sugar control in people with type 2 diabetes.
But more research is needed to learn about the benefits and risks of the keto diet.
A vegan diet contains only plants and foods made from plants. Foods that come from animals, including dairy products and eggs are eliminated.
One study, published earlier this year, suggested eating plenty of health fruits and vegetables could reduce the risk of developing diabetes by almost a quarter.
The study by Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston involved more than 300,000 people and analysed the association between plant-based foods and type 2 diabetes.
It found those whose diets were mainly plant based were 23 percent less prone to the condition.
In 2018, researchers from the University of London, the University of Northampton and East Sussex NHS Healthcare Trust, carried out a review looking at the effects of a plant-based diet on adults with type 2 diabetes.
They found evidence of improved mental wellbeing, quality of life, diabetes control and weight loss.
But more studies are required to substantiate the effectiveness of a vegan diet on blood sugar levels.
The Mediterranean diet is a diet inspired by the eating habits of Italy and Greece.
It include proportionally high consumption of olive oil, legumes, unrefined, cereals, fruits and vegetables, with moderate to high consumption of fish, moderate consumption of dairy products and low consumption of non-fish meat products.
A 2014 review of research found people with type 2 diabetes who follow the Mediterranean diet tend to have lower blood sugar than those who follow a conventional American diet.
The Mediterranean diet has also been linked to reduced weight, blood cholesterol and blood pressure.
The DASH diet
DASH stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension and the diet is recommended for people who want to prevent or treat high blood pressure.
The diet emphasises vegetables, fruits and low-fat dairy foods, as well as moderate amounts of whole grains, fish, poultry and nuts.
It limits red meat, sweets, and other foods high in saturated fat or added sugars. it also limits foods high in salt.
According to a published in 2017, the Dash diet provides a nutrient-rich and sustainable eating plan for people with type 2 diabetes.
It may reduce blood pressure, blood cholesterol, insulin resistance and weight.