Type 2 diabetes is a serious condition where the insulin the pancreas makes can’t work properly, or the pancreas can’t make insulin to control the blood sugar created in the body. As a result, blood sugar levels keep rising, and, if left untreated, can pose grave health risks such as heart disease and stroke. Luckily, dietary decisions can compensate for the lack of insulin and provide a robust defence against rising blood sugar levels.
Christmas time often means celebration and indulgence and with many delicious foods on offer it could be a dangerous time for diabetics and their blood sugar.
A lot of the food is high in saturated fat, free sugars and salt which causes havoc on the blood sugar.
Luckily, there is a food item that helps to maintain healthy blood sugar levels.
Type 2 diabetes: Best food to eat at Christmas (Image: Getty Images)
Brussels sprouts are a member of the Brassicaceae family of vegetables and closely related to kale, cauliflower and mustard greens.
The cruciferous vegetable boasts high level of many nutrients and have been linked to several health benefits making them an excellent choice for type 2 diabetics at Christmas.
How Brussels sprouts help with blood sugar levels
Brussels sprouts are high in fibre which helps regulate blood sugar levels.
Fibre moves slowly through the body undigested and slows the absorption of sugar into the blood.
Brussels sprouts also contain alpha-lipoid acid, an antioxidant that’s been researched extensively for its potential effects on blood sugar and insulin.
Type 2 diabetes: Christmas foods tend to be high in saturated fat and contain a high amount of sugar (Image: Getty Images)
What the studies say
In a study with the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, the consumption of cruciferous vegetables and how it affects type 2 diabetes was analysed.
The study found that higher consumption of cruciferous vegetables such as Brussels sprouts decreased a person’s risk of type 2 diabetes.
In another study, 12 patients with diabetes who were given alpha-lipoic acid supplements experienced increased insulin sensitivity.
The researchers proposed this was due to the alpha-lipoid acid which allowed insulin to work more efficiently to lower blood sugar.
Type 2 diabetes: Brussels sprouts are high in fibre which helps keep blood sugar levels healthy (Image: Getty Images)
Brussels sprouts are also rich in antioxidants, protect against cancer, are rich in vitamin K, contain healthy omega-3 fatty acids, help in reducing inflammation and high in vitamin C making them a healthy food item for type 2 diabetics during Christmas.
Diabetes UK said on their website: “Fill up on array of vegetables, keep an eye on portion sizes and if having dessert, try stick to one portion.”