Type 2 diabetes can be a 'devastating diagnosis' says expert
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Type 2 diabetes is heavily impacted by your lifestyle and diet, so by making some changes you could actually reduce your risk of diabetes. Some foods are even credited with helping to regulate your blood sugar, preventing spikes and keeping your blood sugar stable after eating a meal. One seasonal vegetable found in every UK supermarket at the moment is particularly powerful for bringing down your blood sugar levels: what is it?
Once Autumn arrives, everything becomes ‘Pumpkin spiced’.
From the famous Starbucks coffee, to scented candles, to home decor; in Autumn, Pumpkin is king.
But for diabetics, could this luminous and inexpensive vegetable even help to lower and regulate their blood sugar?
Almost five million people in the UK suffer from diabetes, while a further 13.6 million are considered to be ‘at risk’ for developing type 2 diabetes.
Could eating pumpkin slash your risk of diabetes?
Pumpkins are so revered for their natural blood sugar-lowering superpowers that in some countries, including Mexico and Iran, they are a traditional medicine for diabetes.
The pumpkin’s ability to regulate blood sugar is partly because it’s packed with fibre and antioxidants.
Pumpkin is high in carbohydrates, which would normally be a no-no for diabetics, but these carbohydrates are from a special group called polysaccharides.
Polysaccharides have been studied for their ability to reduce blood sugar levels.
Pumpkin also has a very low glycemic load (GL): this is a number showing how carbohydrate-heavy the food is, and how far it raises your blood levels.
The GL for pumpkin is very low, ranking at just three. Any GL under 10 is considered low in carbohydrates.
If you want to reach for a healthy snack throughout the day, pumpkin seeds are a great choice as they’re full of healthy fats and proteins.
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One study found eating 65 grams of pumpkin seeds reduced blood sugar spikes after eating a meal by up to 35 percent.
Pumpkin seeds are also full of antioxidants that can help your body fight off diseases.
Pumpkin oil can also be a healthier choice of cooking oil because it is rich in unsaturated fats, which can help to lower cholesterol.
As high cholesterol puts you at greater risk of diabetes, if you’ve been warned you are at risk of developing diabetes consider switching to pumpkin or olive oil.
So, if you are planning on carving a pumpkin for Halloween, don’t throw away all of the orange goodness.
You can add pumpkin to curries, roast it, or blend it into a gorgeous soup.
Whatever your favourite way to eat pumpkin is, make sure you eat plenty of pumpkin to enjoy all the health benefits.
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