Diabetes is a common condition that affects almost four million people in the UK, and 90 per cent of all cases are caused by type 2 diabetes. The condition is caused by the pancreas not producing enough of the hormone insulin, or the body not reacting to insulin. Without enough of the hormone, the body struggles to convert sugar in the blood into useable energy. You can lower your risk of developing diabetes symptoms by making some small lunchtime diet changes.
One of the easiest ways to improve your diet, and to avoid high blood sugar, is to swap your white bread sandwiches for wholegrain alternatives, said LloydsPharmacy.
If you usually opt for a jacket potato with baked beans and cheese, it’s advisable to use a reduced-fat spread, and reduced-salt beans.
You should also make sure you include some salad leaves or steamed vegetables to help make up your five-a-day, it added.
“Making simple changes to your diet can make a big difference when you’re living with diabetes,” said LloydsPharmacy.
“It doesn’t mean giving up all your favourite foods and recipes, more a matter of adjusting how much you eat and limiting the food and drink that affect your blood glucose levels.
“Swap white breads, bagels and muffins for wholegrain alternatives. Choose a tuna salad sandwich on wholemeal bread with no mayo instead of a tuna melt panini.
“When managing your diet, it’s just as important to manage the amount, and the type of food you eat.
“When it comes to a balanced diet, it’s best to try everything in moderation.”
For those that usually enjoy a simply cheese sandwich for their lunch, it could lower your risk of diabetes by using a reduced-fat, hard cheese, it added.
If you often struggle to make it through the day without dabbling in a snack or two, a three-fruit salad or homemade popcorn are your best options, said LloydsPharmacy.
The sugar in fruit is natural, and is different to the sugar found in cakes, chocolate or biscuits. Where possible, eating fresh fruit is always the best choice for a snack.
Many people may be living with diabetes without even knowing it, as the symptoms don’t necessarily make you feel unwell.
Common diabetes symptoms include feeling very tired, passing more urine than normal, and feeling very thirsty.
You could lower your risk of diabetes by doing regular exercise, and by eating a healthy diet, said the NHS.
Everyone should aim to do at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity every week.
Speak to a doctor if you’re worried about the symptoms of diabetes, or if you think you may be at risk.