Diabetes type 2: Avoid ice lollies and certain condiments this summer says expert

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Summer tends to be a time for socialising and casting off winter’s inhibitions. While this is all to be welcomed, it can present hidden health risks if you have type 2 diabetes. That’s because there is greater temptation to binge on food and drink containing lots of sugar.

GP Doctor Sarah Brewer, in partnership with natural diabetes brand CuraLife, has shared her top tips to navigate these seasonal treats, explaining which ones to be particularly cautious of, and offers healthy alternatives for the ultimate summer experience.

Ease up on the alcohol

“When the weather gets warmer, all we want to do is let our hair down and relax, but it’s wise to find other ways to do this rather than drinking alcohol,” advised Doctor Brewer.

As the doc explains, “when you have diabetes, drinking alcohol can cause your blood glucose levels to either rise or fall, depending on how much you have eaten, how much alcohol you consume, how quickly, and the amount of carbohydrate present in the drink or mixer. Beer and sweet wine can cause blood glucose levels to rise”.

This does not mean type 2 diabetics cannot drink alcohol but “moderation is key, as excess alcohol increases insulin resistance and the risk of hypertension, abnormal heart rhythms, fatty liver changes, low blood glucose levels (hypoglycaemia) and promotes obesity.”

READ MORE: Diabetes symptoms: ‘Spare tyre’ weight gain around abdomen could signal high blood sugar

Doctor Brewer added: “I would suggest to only drink one or two units of alcohol per day, and only when your blood glucose levels are well controlled. Make sure you drink alcohol with food, drink slowly and avoid sugary drinks as mixers.”

Ice lollies

When it comes to a big seasonal favourite, ice lollies, Doctor Sarah Brewer said to “avoid those you buy in the supermarkets at all costs, as they are laden with sugar. Make your own from low-cal squash or diluted fruit juice and sweeten with Stevia if needed.”

As the doc pointed out, this also makes for a fun summer holiday activity with the kids to keep them entertained.

The condiments to cut out

Doctor Brewer said: “Similarly to the ice lollies, BBQs are a must during the summer, including a selection of delicious condiments and sauces in most households.”

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Again, Doctor Brewer suggested steering clear of anything pre-packaged and shop bought.

“Check labels as condiments and sauces are often surprisingly high in salt and sugar. For alternative sources of flavour, use fresh chopped herbs, a sprinkle of smoked paprika, freshly-ground black pepper, lemon or lime juice.”

According to the doc, the same applies to pre-marinaded BBQ meats – their sauces are likely to be high in sugar, salt, and possibly less healthy cooking oils.

“Marinade your own with a little olive oil, fresh herbs, black pepper and lemon juice.”

Snack on delicious seasonal fruit

As Doctor Brewer noted, fruit always seems to taste better in the summertime but it is also a healthy option.

She explained: “Although fruit contains natural sugars, most have a low to moderate glycaemic index and do not raise blood glucose levels excessively (though don’t over-indulge in dried fruits).”

But what about a firm seasonal favourite, strawberries and cream?

“Strawberries are a delicious, healthy treat at the end of a meal or on their own. However, rather than slathering them with cream, use crème fraiche or Greek yoghurt for their lower fat content.”

Another top tip from Doctor Brewer is to take an all-natural supplement.

She recommended CuraLin, which is made from nine natural herbs that work with the body to help balance the blood sugar profile.

CuraLin can also help with the regulation and consumption of sugary foods as its natural ingredients can reduce cravings for sugars.

Type 2 diabetes – symptoms to spot

Signs include:

  • Tiredness
  • Blurred vision
  • Unintentional weight loss
  • Recurrent infections, such as thrush, bladder infections (cystitis) and skin infections
  • Tummy pain
  • Feeling or being sick
  • Breath that smells fruity.

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.

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