Diabetes is no doubt a serious health condition, but it is by no means the end of the world. Maintaining a healthy diet is always important, and even more so when a person is suffering from diabetes. In this condition, the blood sugar is already high, so it is important to have a diet plan that will work with the body and not spike the blood sugar levels. The way to tackle it is simple: follow a plan and keep your health a priority at all times. Controlling the sugar levels is a challenge and requires constant monitoring. The following tips can help you maintain healthy blood sugar levels and avoid complications:
1. Choose the right type of carbs
One of the biggest prevalent myths regarding diabetes is that carbohydrates should be
avoided at all costs. However, this is far from the truth. We all need carbs to survive. Rather, we should pay attention as to the kind of carbohydrates and the amount we
consume. For example, the carbs present in wholegrain breads and cereals and fruits should be consumed, as opposed to refined flour and juices. A healthy combination of
vegetables and nuts along with the above mentioned food items provides adequate fuel to the body and also helps keep the sugar levels in check.
2. Lose Weight
A bulging waistline is an invitation for aggravating the effects of diabetes. Shedding the
excess kilograms and belly fat can go a long way in reducing the glucose levels. In addition to the quantity of fat, its location is also an important consideration. Abdominal fat in particular increases insulin resistance, which is at the root of type 2 diabetes problem. Any woman whose waist measurement exceeds 35 inches and a man whose waist measures more than 40 inches must lose weight for a good diabetes management.
3. Moderate sugar intake
Contrary to popular belief, a person with type 2 diabetes can still consume a small serving of desserts or sweets. There are a number of ways one can work around this. You can reduce your cravings for sweets by gradually reducing your sugar intake. Consuming healthy fats like yoghurt, nuts etc. can help slow down the digestive process and help maintain a steady glucose level. Packaged and frozen foods like soups also contain large amounts of sugar that must be avoided at all costs.
4. Get moving
Exercise is one of the best antidotes for high blood sugar levels. Physical activity can
improve the condition of the heart, improve circulation, lower blood pressure and maintain a healthy weight. You can pick and choose whichever physical activity you want; be it a walk around the block, running around in a park, lifting weights etc. Start small with duration of about 15 minutes every day and slowly extend the duration.
5. Reduce your salt intake
Excess sodium increases the risk of blood pressure, which in turn increases the risk of
heart disease. People with type 2 diabetes are already in danger of these conditions so
they should aim to reduce their salt intake. Some ways of doing this is by avoiding
processed, canned and packaged foods and also using herbs and spices in their food
instead of salt.
6. Fruits and Vegetables
Consume at least five servings of fruits and vegetables for the essential vitamins, minerals and fibre. You should take care not to consume excess fruits as it will lead to a sugar overdose, dangerous for a person with type 2 diabetes.
7. Eat beans and fish
Beans, pulses and lentils are high-fibre and low-fat items can help reduce the fat levels
in the blood. Oily fish such as mackerel, sardines, salmon and trout are rich in
polyunsaturated fats like omega-3, which helps protect against heart disease, a condition which people with diabetes are particularly susceptible to.
8. No alcohol and “diabetic foods”
Alcohol contains a lot of empty calories, all of which are converted to glucose by the
liver. Aside from the damage to the liver caused due to the processing of alcohol, the extra glucose overburdens a system already high on sugar. This can readily lead to weight gain and worsening of type 2 diabetes. As for the much-advertised diabetic foods, more often than not they are of little effect and may actually contain as much fat and calories as ordinary meals, besides being expensive and having a laxative effect.
9. Monitor your sugar levels regularly
Track your blood sugar levels using a glucose meter. Regular monitoring can help you make the required changes in your lifestyle and daily care. Ideally, your glucose level should be in the range of 70-130 mg/dL before meals.
10. Control your stress
Stress tenses up the body and pushes up the blood glucose levels, blood pressure and also enhances the risk of heart problems. Some measures to combat the stress include
breathing exercises, going for a walk or engaging in any hobby. And if you smoke, quit
Follow the treatment plan and medicine intake as advised by your doctor. Insulin injections and diabetes pills must be taken while considering the timings of your meals for maximum effectiveness.
12. Periodic eye-checks
Diabetic retinopathy is a complication that affects the back of your eye that occurs due to high blood sugar levels. Getting an eye checkup done at least once a year can help you be proactive in your steps to manage the severity of your diabetes.
13. Control Sleep Apnea
People with type 2 diabetes may be at higher risk of developing sleep apnea. Together, both these complications increase the risk of heart attack, stroke and death. Sleep apnea must be treated with surgery or other measures like wearing a special device while sleeping. Watch out for signs of sleep apnea like loud snoring, large neck and being overweight.
Following the above measures can help keep control the severity of type 2 diabetes and help you lead a heathier lifestyle free of any further complications. It is important to know the measures to manage diabetes, as it is now a disease of epidemic proportions.