Type 2 diabetes means your pancreas is not producing enough insulin or the insulin it does produce is not being taken up by the cells. The primary role of insulin is to regulate blood sugar – the main type of sugar found in blood. Consistently high blood sugar levels can have a devastating impact on the body so people with diabetes must find alternative means of controlling blood sugar levels.
Diet provides a crucial lever in lowering high blood sugar levels.
Specific items have been shown to possess blood sugar-lowering capabilities, such as pomegranate juice.
“Although the effects of pomegranate juice on type 2 diabetic conditions have been reported, a clinical study focusing on the short-term effects on different diabetic variables is still needed,” researchers wrote in a study published to the journal Elsevier.
To remedy this, they set out to assess whether pomegranate juice consumption would decrease blood sugar levels in type 2 diabetic patients three hours after juice ingestion.
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The study demonstrated the direct effect of “fresh” pomegranate juice on blood sugar and insulin levels in type 2 diabetes patients.
Blood samples from 85 participants with type 2 diabetes were collected after a 12-hour fast, then one and three hours after administration of 1.5 mL of pomegranate juice, per kg body weight.
Generally, the results demonstrated decreased blood sugar levels and decreased insulin resistance among type 2 diabetes participants three hours after pomegranate juice administration, the researchers wrote.
The effect appeared to be more marked in participants who had lower blood sugar levels to begin with.
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“The effect of PJ [pomegranate juice] was also not affected by the sex of the patient and was less potent in elderly patients,” the researchers wrote.
“In conclusion, this work offers some encouragement for T2D [type 2 diabetes] patients regarding PJ consumption as an additional contribution to control glucose levels.”
General tips to lower high blood sugar levels
There’s nothing you cannot eat if you have type 2 diabetes, but you’ll have to limit certain foods.
The worst culprits are foods that rank high on the glycaemic index (GI) – a rating system for foods containing carbohydrates.
They include some fruit and vegetables, pulses and wholegrain foods, such as porridge oats.
Physical exercise helps lower your blood sugar level. “You should aim for 2.5 hours of activity a week,” advises the NHS.
Type 2 diabetes – do you have it?
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.