The longer you have diabetes, and the less controlled your blood sugar, the higher the risk of complications.
Some of the complications can be disabling or even life-threatening.
But the foods you choose to eat in your daily diet can make a big difference, whether you’re living with diabetes or not.
Diabetes UK says the key to managing and preventing diabetes is a balanced diet.
Fruit and vegetables
Whether it’s fresh, frozen, dried and canned fruit in juice and canned vegetables, everyone should eat at least five portions a day, says Diabetes UK.
The charity suggests adding an apple, banana, or orange to your child’s lunchbox, eating sliced melon or grapefruit topped with low-fat yoghurt, or a handful of berries, or fresh dates, apricots or prunes for breakfast, and eating carrots, peas and green beans mixed up in a pasta bake.
Try and include starchy foods every day.
You could try potatoes any way you like, with the skin left on for valuable fibre, covered in a low-fat topping such as cottage cheese or beans. But don’t fry the potatoes.
Two slices of multigrain toast with a scraping of spread and Marmite or peanut butter, and rice, pasta or noodles in risottos, salad or stir-fries are some other options.
Diabetes diet: Eating a balanced diet can help manage and prevent diabetes
Different types of diabetes
Type 1 Diabetes – An autoimmune disease that prevents the body from producing insulin to regulate blood sugar levels
Meat, fish, eggs, pulses, beans and nuts
You should aim to have some food form this group every day, and at least one to two portions of oily fish a week.
Protein helps build muscles, the minerals found in these foods help with the production of red blood cells and omega-3 can help protect the heart.
Eat meat, poultry or a vegetarian alternative grilled, roasted or stir-fried, or eggs scrambled, poached, dry fried or boiled.
A small handful of raw nuts and seeds as a snack or chopped with a green salad are also an option.
Diabetes diet: Too much salt can make you more at risk of high blood pressure and stroke
Diabetes UK advises: “Too much salt can make you more at risk of high blood pressure and stroke. Processed foods can be very high in salt.
“Try cooking more meals from scratch at home, where you can control the mount of salt you use.”
Diabetes type 2 symptoms include feeling very thirsty, fatigue, and frequent urination. You could reverse your high blood sugar condition by eating more cinnamon, a nutritionist has claimed.