Diabetes type 2: The ‘smart’ food shown to reduce high blood sugar levels

Diabetes type 2: Dr Zoe Williams discusses high blood sugar risks

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Historically, there’s been a widespread belief that millet, an ancient wholegrain known to prevent diseases, could help lower the risk of type 2 diabetes. A new study, led by the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics, has confirmed that adhering to a millet-based diet can reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes as well as manage blood glucose levels significantly.

Authors of the study, published in Frontiers in Nutritions, conducted an analysis involving 1,000 human subjects.

The findings showed that blood glucose levels in diabetic people who consume millets as part of their daily diet dropped by up to 15 percent.

In participants with type 2 diabetes, glucose levels went from diabetic to pre-diabetic levels; slightly above the normal range.

Researchers also observed that blood glucose levels dropped by an average of 17 percent in pre-diabetic individuals, helping blood sugar levels return to normal status.

READ MORE: Type 2 diabetes symptoms: Do you experience ‘dark adaption’? It could be a warning sign

Doctor S Anitha, lead author of the study, said: “No one knew there were so many scientific studies undertaken on millets’ effect on diabetes.

“These benefits were often contested, and this systematic review of the studies published in scientific journals has proven that millets keep blood glucose levels in check, reducing the risk of diabetes, and has shown just how well these smart foods do it.”

Diabetes type 2 is a chronic condition where the body doesn’t make enough insulin, a hormone that allows sugar to enter the body’s cells and be used for energy,

Type 2 diabetes is more common than type 1, with around 90 percent diabetic adults in the UK suffering from Type 2, according to the NHS.

Millet, a wholegrain, scores lower on the glycemic index than many other grains.

This means that it raises blood sugar slowly and gradually, as opposed to causing glucose levels to spike.

Furthermore, high-fibre foods help keep blood sugar levels under control and lower cholesterol.

This can help with weight loss, which is helpful in the prevention of diabetes.

Raj Bhandari, one of the study’s authors added: “Our diets play a critical role and if we could bring millets back as a major part of our diet, we would not only help in controlling diabetes, but we would also be adding important nutrients to our plate.”

Figures from the International Diabetes Association show that cases of diabetes are currently increasing worldwide.

India, China and the US currently have the highest numbers of people with diabetes.

Cases in Africa are projected to climb by 143 percent from 2019 to 2045, while cases in South East Asia are predicted to increase by 74 percent.

Type 2 diabetes symptoms

According to Medical News Today, some early symptoms of type 2 diabetes include:

Blurry vision: An excess of sugar in the blood can damage the blood vessels in the eyes, causing blurry vision.

Tingling and numbness: Damaged body nerves can lead to pain or a sensation of tingling or numbness in the hands and feet.

Patches of dark skin: Patches of dark skin forming on the creases of the neck, armpit or groin can also signify a higher risk of diabetes.

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