‘High fibre’ carbohydrates can lower risk of type 2 diabetes

This Morning: Type 2 diabetes can be 'devastating' says expert

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There are two forms of diabetes – type 1 and type 2. It is still not yet known what exactly causes type 1 diabetes, while type 2 is usually linked to being overweight, inactive or a family history. Type 2 is far more common – affecting 3.8 million people in the UK.

Both types of diabetes result in the level of glucose (sugar) in your blood becoming too high.

For type 1 patients this happens when your body cannot produce enough of a hormone called insulin, which controls blood glucose.

While the raised blood sugar levels in type 2 patients are often caused by being overweight or not exercising enough.

Therefore, diet is hugely important to those either with or at risk of type 2 diabetes.

According to Diabetes UK, certain carbohydrates can raise your chances of having the condition.

It says: “Eating white bread, white rice and sugary breakfast cereals known as refined carbs are linked with an increased risk of type 2 diabetes.”

Refined carbohydrates are found in both refined grains and refined sugars.

Examples of refined grains include white bread and tortillas, bagels, waffles and pastries, white rice and pizza.

And refined sugars include flavoured yoghurts, cakes, fizzy drinks, fruit juice, and smoothies, pasta sauce and condiments.

However, high fibre carbohydrates can have the opposite effect.

Diabetes UK says: “Wholegrains such as brown rice, wholewheat pasta, wholemeal flour, wholegrain bread and oats are linked to a reduced risk so choose these instead.

“When you’re out shopping remember to check food labels to see if a food is high fibre.

“Compare different foods to find the ones with the most fibre in them.”

It adds: “Having more fibre is also associated with lower risk of other serious conditions such as obesity, heart diseases and certain types of cancers.

“It’s also important to think about your carbohydrate portion sizes.”

Other healthy sources of carbohydrates include:

  • Fruit and vegetables
  • Pulses such as chickpeas, beans and lentils
  • Dairy like unsweetened yoghurt and milk.

There are some factors outside of your control that can also increase your risk of developing type 2 diabetes including if you:

  • Are over 40 (or 25 for south Asian people)
  • Have a close relative with diabetes (such as a parent, brother or sister)
  • Are of Asian, African-Caribbean or black African origin.

Common symptoms of both types of diabetes can include:

  • Passing urine more than usual, particularly at night
  • Feeling thirsty all the time
  • Feeling very tired
  • Losing weight without trying to
  • Itching around your genitals, or repeatedly getting thrush
  • Cuts or wounds taking longer to heal
  • Blurred vision.

The NHS advises seeing your GP if you experience any of these signs.

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