Type 2 diabetes is a long-term complication that arises when your pancreas doesn’t produce enough insulin, a hormone that regulates blood sugar levels. Uncontrolled blood sugar levels may seem benign at first, but, if left untreated, the condition can be a precursor to deadly complications, such as heart disease. To keep your blood sugar levels in check, healthy lifestyle interventions are required.
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One of the worst culprits for sending blood sugar soaring levels soaring is eating too much sugar.
The primary risks posed by overindulging in sugar foods is that it leads to weight gain, and being overweight makes it harder to manage blood sugar levels.
What is the link between obesity and blood sugar?
As Diabetes.co.uk reports, studies suggest that abdominal fat – fat that accumulates near vital organs – causes fat cells to release “pro-inflammatory” chemicals, which can make the body less sensitive to the insulin it produces by disrupting the function of insulin responsive cells and their ability to respond to insulin.
“Obesity is also thought to trigger changes to the body’s metabolism These changes cause fat tissue (adipose tissue) to release fat molecules into the blood, which can affect insulin responsive cells and lead to reduced insulin sensitivity,” explains the health body.
It is therefore imperative to curb your sugar intake to keep your weight under control and prevent blood sugar levels from spiking.
Stevia leaf powder is an effective alternative to sugar. It is also a nonnutritive sweetener – this means it has almost no calories, so it is a wise choice for weight management.
The extract is derived from the plant species Stevia rebaudiana, which is native to Brazil and Paraguay.
In addition to aiding weight loss, stevia extract has been shown to significantly lower blood sugar levels.
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One study reported that dried stevia leaf powder significantly lowered blood sugar levels in people with diabetes, both while fasting and after eating.
The participants in the study also saw a reduction in their triglyceride and cholesterol levels.
Triglyceride and cholesterol are types of fat found in your blood that are markers associated with heart disease.
Furthermore, a study in rats reported that using whole stevia leaf powder as a dietary supplement led to lower blood sugar levels.
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The results also suggested that stevia could reduce liver and kidney damage in animals.
Other research found that nonnutritive sweeteners such as stevia had antioxidant potential and significantly lowered blood sugar levels in mice.
Antioxidants are compounds that are thought to play a role in protecting against heart disease.
What the common symptoms associated with diabetes?
Many people have type 2 diabetes without realising because symptoms do not necessarily make you feel unwell.
However, common warning signs of type 2 diabetes can include:
- Peeing more than usual, particularly at night
- Peeling thirsty all the time
- Feeling very tired
- Losing weight without trying to
- Itching around your penis or vagina, or repeatedly getting thrush
- Cuts or wounds taking longer to heal
- Blurred vision
If you have any of the symptoms of type 2 diabetes or you’re worried you may have a higher risk of getting it, should see your GP, advises the NHS.
“Your GP can diagnose diabetes. You’ll need a blood test, which you may have to go to your local health centre for if it cannot be done at your GP surgery,” explains the health body’s website.
It adds: “The earlier diabetes is diagnosed and treatment started, the better. Early treatment reduces your risk of other health problems.”
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