Popular drink you ‘can’t beat’ to help prevent diabetes – doctor’s advice

Dr Amir lists diabetes symptoms

Diabetes is a serious medical condition that requires making permanent changes to your lifestyle habits.

Both type 1 and type 2 diabetes causes a person’s blood sugar levels to become too high.

In type 1 patients this occurs when the body’s immune system attacks and destroys the cells that produce insulin.

However, this happens to type 2 patients when the body is not able to produce enough insulin, or the body’s cells do not react to insulin properly.

It is not yet known what causes type 1 diabetes, but type 2 diabetes is often linked to factors such as weight, diet and a lack of exercise.

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While what you eat and drink can raise your risk for diabetes, it can also lower it.

One expert spoke exclusively with Express.co.uk about the best drink to prevent diabetes or lower your blood sugar levels if you already have it.

Doctor Deborah Lee, from the Dr Fox Online Pharmacy, recommended drinking plenty of water.

“You don’t have to be imaginative to come up with the best drink for those with type-2 diabetes,” she said. “You can’t beat good, old-fashioned, water.

“Water contains zero carbs – so is glucose-free.

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“High blood glucose levels mean the kidney has to work overtime to expel the glucose from the body in the urine – meaning if your blood sugar levels are high, this makes you pee more.

“Excess thirst is a sign of hyperglycaemia (high blood glucose).

“Those with high blood glucose levels are more likely to become dehydrated, which further increases the concentration of glucose in the bloodstream.

“Drinking more water is the best way to assist the kidneys in lowering blood glucose and preventing dehydration.”

What does research say?

She said: “One 2011 research study showed that those who drank more than one litre of water per day had a 28 percent reduced risk of developing type 2 diabetes, in comparison to those who drank 500ml or less.”

The study referenced was published in Diabetes Care journal.

As part of the research, 3,615 middle-aged men and women with healthy blood sugar levels were monitored for an average of nine years.

In that time 565 participants developed high blood sugar levels, which was compared by researchers to the amount of water they were drinking.

The study concluded: “Self-reported water intake was inversely and independently associated with the risk of developing hyperglycaemia.”

How to get the benefits of water

Dr Lee advised against drinking sweetened water.

“Plain tap water is the best option, but carbonated water is also a good option so long it is unsweetened,” she said.

“It’s generally best to avoid drinks that contain artificial sweeteners.

“You can make water more exciting to drink by adding ice, and cutting up pieces of fruit.

“Water for tea and coffee does count as part of your daily water intake but again beware, and don’t add sugar or artificial sweeteners.”

She advised that women need 1.6 litres of water a day (around eight glasses), while men need two litres (around 10 glasses).

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