Type 2 diabetes is a chronic condition characterised by unruly blood sugar levels. Blood sugar – the main sugar found in blood – is normally regulated by the secretion of insulin. However, if you have type 2 diabetes, this mechanism is faulty, which in turn causes blood sugar levels to rise uncontrollably. This can inflict untold damage on the body, so it’s vital to stabilise blood sugar levels.
Diet provides an effective means of doing this because particular items possess blood sugar-lowering properties.
One such item is a staple of the modern breakfast: black beans.
Black beans, which are typically enjoyed with eggs, avocados and tomatoes, are highly effective at lowering blood sugar levels because they rank low on the glycaemic index (GI).
The GI is a rating system for foods containing carbohydrates. It shows how quickly each food affects your blood sugar (glucose) level when that food is eaten on its own.
Participants were assigned to each meal group and instructed to consumed their selected meal on different mornings, a minimum of seven days apart.
Blood samples were collected at time 0 (fasting), and at 30, 60, 90, and 120 minutes after eating, and were subsequently analysed for glucose concentrations.
Glucose response showed a significant difference between the treatment groups.
Changes in blood glucose concentrations were significantly different for the black bean meal and the chickpea meal in comparison to rice alone at 60 minutes, 90 minutes and 120 minutes post-eating.
“Findings indicate that combinations of black beans and chickpeas with white rice improve glycemic response, providing evidence that has promising implications for dietary guidance to reduce postprandial glucose and related health risks through traditional food patterns,” the researchers concluded.
Other low GI foods include:
- Some fruit and vegetables
- Whole grain foods, such as porridge oats.
How do I know if I have type 2 diabetes?
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.
According to the NHS, you should see a GP if you have any of the symptoms of type 2 diabetes
or you’re worried you may have a higher risk of getting type 2 diabetes.
“You’ll need a blood test, which you may have to go to your local health centre for if it cannot be done at your GP surgery,” explains the health body.
“The earlier diabetes is diagnosed and treatment started, the better. Early treatment reduces your risk of other health problems.”