Diabetes: The black drink that ‘significantly’ lowers blood sugar 60 minutes after intake

Type 2 diabetes can be a 'devastating diagnosis' says expert

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Type 2 diabetes either stays in the background or enters the foreground depending on how well you manage blood sugar levels. Type 2 diabetes means your insulin production is hampered. Insulin is a hormone that regulates blood sugar – the main type of sugar found in blood. Without sufficient insulin supply, blood sugar levels rise in the body and this can cause a host of problems.

Fortunately, you can manage blood sugar levels via alternative means, namely diet.

Eating and drinking specific items can make blood sugar levels less volatile by countering the spikes caused by eating.

A study published in the Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that black tea significantly reduces rises in blood glucose (sugar) levels among both healthy and pre-diabetic adults.

To examine the effect, participants consumed a sugary drink first.

Twenty-four subjects, male and female aged 20-60 years, normal and pre-diabetic, randomly ingested a sugary drink with a low dose, a high dose of black tea drink or a placebo drink.

Blood samples were collected at the start, then at 30, 60, 90, and 120 minutes from initial ingestion to measure blood glucose and insulin levels.

The drink containing low or high dose black tea “significantly” reduced blood glucose compared with placebo, the researchers wrote.

This effect was observed within 60 minutes of ingestion.

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“Black tea consumption can decrease postprandial blood glucose after sucrose intake,” the researchers concluded.

General tips to lower blood sugar

One of the most helpful tips for keeping blood sugar levels under control is to base your meals one the glycaemic index (GI).

The GI tells us whether a food raises blood glucose levels quickly, moderately or slowly.

This means it can be useful to help you manage your diabetes.

Different carbohydrates are digested and absorbed at different rates, and GI is a ranking of how quickly each carbohydrate-based food and drink makes blood glucose levels rise after eating them.

The higher the ranking, the more pronounced effect a given food will have on blood sugar levels.

High GI foods include:

  • Sugar and sugary foods
  • Sugary soft drinks
  • White bread
  • Potatoes
  • White rice.

Low or medium GI foods, which are broken down more slowly and cause a gradual rise in blood sugar levels over time, include some fruit, vegetables and pulses.

Type 2 symptoms – do you have it?

Common symptoms include:

  • Urinating a lot
  • Excessive thirst
  • Severe tiredness
  • Infections such as thrush
  • Slow healing for wounds
  • Weight loss.

According to the NHS, you should see a GP if you have any of the symptoms of diabetes or you’re worried you may have a higher risk of getting 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.

The earlier diabetes is diagnosed and treatment started, the better.

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