Type 2 diabetes develops when the body becomes resistant to insulin (a hormone that helps control the body’s blood sugar levels) or when the pancreas is unable to produce enough insulin, and serious health complications can ensue, including heart disease, nerve damage, kidney damage and eye damage. A healthy diet is one way to manage blood sugar levels and prevent the condition, and when it comes to Christmas dinner, people should be opting for “big and chunky” roast potatoes.
The charity suggests other simple swaps to make your family roast healthier, “without skimping on flavour”.
Seasoning and gravy add to the deliciousness of a roast, but the charity warns to keep your salt intake to a minimum.
“Don’t automatically reach for the salt cellar,” it says. “Season with pepper, and make use of garlic and any herbs you like.”
If you’re making gravy from your roast meat, skim the fat off the top before serving, it says.
“Skimming just one tablespoon of fat cuts 12g of fat and at least 100 calories.”
Meat often makes a roast, but opting for leaner choice is advised.
“Stick to learner choices,” it says. “Chicken and turkey are high in protein and low in fat. “
“You don’t even need to add any oil – just remove the skin and add lemon and garlic to give it a great flavour.
“It’ll cook in its own juices and stay tender. If you go for beef, trim off any visible fat before cooking.”
If you’re vegetarian you can opt for a meat alternative – roast meat substitutes are generally lower in fat and calories.
And add lots of your favourite vegetables for more colour and nutrition.
The charity advises: “Steam your greens, such as broccoli and cabbage, and roast root vegetables, like parsnips and carrots.
“Just cut up your root vegetables into equal pieces, toss in some olive oil and roast until golden.”
Alongside eating a healthy diet, being active can also lower blood sugar levels.
Physical exercise helps lower your blood sugar level, says the NHS. You should aim for 2.5 hours of activity a week.
The health body explains: “You can be active anywhere as long as what you’re doing gets you out of breath.
“This could be fast walking, climbing stairs and doing more strenuous housework or gardening.”