Diabetes can create chaos with lives of the patients as well as their family members. However, with proper management and care, those with diabetes can live normal active lives. Managing diabetes is not difficult, you will have to make a commitment for life to follow the routine you set for yourself.
It is important to understand the nature of the disease and the underlying causes. This knowledge will help you and your family understand and realize the importance of maintaining the prescribed routine.
Exercise and Weight Management
Maintaining a steady weight through regular exercise is very important. Exercise also helps burn excess sugar and thereby reduces the level of blood glucose. It also helps reduce stress and maintain overall health.
If you have type 1 diabetes, you will require insulin treatment. This may be in the form of tablets or injections. After your daily dose of insulin, you should have a full meal to prevent hypoglycaemia or extremely low blood glucose, which can be life threatening.
You can manage type 2 diabetes with a regular exercise routine and proper diet. Medication may or may not be required.
Diet management is a very important factor in treating diabetes. Your medical practitioner will prescribe diabetes diets customized to suit your type of diabetes and your typical biological build up. However, as a general rule, these foods should be included in your diet:
Carbohydrates – Carbohydrates provide energy and fuel for your day-to-day functioning. However, when carbohydrates break up, they turn into blood glucose which is harmful for diabetics. You should consume healthy carbs found in whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. Dairy products with low fat content are also good.
Fibre – All plant based food contains fibre which is easy to digest. Fibre helps reduce the blood glucose levels and minimize the risk of heart diseases. Fruits, nuts, vegetables, and legumes are foods that contain fibre. Fibre is also found in foods made from whole wheat and in wheat bran.
Seafood – Sea food like cod, tuna, and halibut are low in fat as compared to poultry meat. Fish like mackerel, salmon, sardines, and tuna contain omega-3 fatty acids which are good for the heart. Fish should be eaten steamed or baked and not fried.
Healthy Fat – Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids help in lowering the level of blood cholesterol. Nuts, olives, canola, and other oils contain healthy fat. However if you are diabetic, you should be careful eating these foods as they are high in calorie content and by consuming too much you run the risk of raising blood glucose level.
What to Avoid?
If you are diabetic, you should avoid these certain types of food.
Saturated Fat – Any foods high in fat or calorie content such as fast foods, beef and certain types of meats should be avoided. Fat and calories are directly related to blood glucose.
Trans Fat – Avoid processed food and ready made snacks as they contain Trans fat which are high in carbohydrates but do not contain much nutrients. High carbs can harm diabetics by raising blood glucose and cholesterol levels.
Whatever type of diabetes you have, be aware of what you should or should not eat, monitor your glucose levels regularly and keep in touch with your doctor so that you can maintain your diabetes diet and stay healthy.