Type 2 diabetes: Eating chickpeas on a regular basis may prevent progression of condition

Type 2 diabetes: Dr Mosley gives his dietary tips

Type 2 diabetes is a condition that causes the level of sugar (glucose) in a person’s blood to become too high, and left untreated serious problems with the eyes, heart and nerves can develop. While the exact cause of type 2 diabetes is unknown the condition is often linked to a poor diet and being overweight.

One way to manage blood sugar levels is to eat a healthy diet.

Experts say there’s nothing you cannot eat if you have the condition, but certain foods should be limited such as sugar, fat and salt.

A wide range of foods is recommended, including fruit, vegetables and some starchy foods like pasta.

But individual foods, such as chickpeas, have also been studied for their benefits on blood sugar levels.

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Research has shown consuming chickpeas on a regular basis may play a role in preventing the progression of diabetes because of their potential to help manage blood sugar levels. 

In one study, 19 adults who consumed a chickpea-based meal daily for six weeks showed significantly lower blood sugar and insulin levels after eating, compared to those who ate a wheat-based meal.

Chickpeas may also prove beneficial to people with type 2 diabetes as they’ve been shown to help keep a person’s appetite under control.

Losing weight (if you’re overweight) will make it easier for your body to lower your blood sugar level, advises the NHS.

The protein and fibre in chickpeas may help keep your appetite under control.

Protein and fibre help slow digestion, promoting fullness.

Protein may also increase levels of appetite-reducing hormones in the body.

These filling effects may automatically lower your calorie intake throughout the day and at meals.

One study compared appetite and calorie intake among 12 women who consumed two separate meals. 

Before one of the meals they ate 200g of chickpeas, and before the other they ate two slices of white bread.

The women experienced a significant reduction in appetite and calorie intake after the chickpea meal when compared to the white bread meal.

Another study found participants who ate an average of 104g of chickpeas daily for 12 weeks felt fuller and ate less junk food, compared to then they didn’t eat chickpeas.

A healthy diet and losing weight (if you’re overweight) aren’t the only ways to control blood sugar levels.

Physical activity is also key – the NHS says you should aim for 2.5 hours of activity a week.

It advises: “You can be active anywhere as long as what you’re doing gets you out of breath.

“This could be fast walking, climbing stairs or doing more strenuous housework or gardening.”

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