Diabetes is a condition in which your body is unable to convert the sugar present in the food we eat and use it for producing energy. Due to this, there is an excess buildup of sugar in the bloodstream. Uncontrolled diabetes can result in several serious consequences, such as damage to internal tissues and organs, including the eyes, nerves, kidneys, and heart. The cause of diabetes depends on the type of diabetes you have.
Type 1 Diabetes: Type 1 diabetes occurs when the body starts attacking the insulin-producing cells present in the pancreas and destroys them. Without insulin, the cells cannot properly utilize glucose for energy, and thus, glucose builds up in the bloodstream. Type 1 diabetes is an immune system disorder and may be triggered by a virus or due to genetic factors as well.
Type 2 diabetes: If you have type 2 diabetes, your body’s cells malfunction and don’t allow insulin to perform its job. As a result, the pancreas is unable to make enough insulin to overcome this resistance, and the glucose levels in the bloodstream rise.
Though there is no complete cure, Diabetes can be kept under control by adopting some healthy practices. Here are some of the most effective diabetes control tips to help you keep your blood sugar levels in check.
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Consuming a healthy diet is the cornerstone of a healthy lifestyle, irrespective of if you have diabetes. However, people living with diabetes need to understand how certain foods affect the level of blood sugar in our bodies. Not only do they need to know the right diabetes control food to eat, but also the right quantity and the right combination. Here is a rundown of some of the best food for diabetes control and how diabetes can be controlled the best way using the right foods.
Being physically active is another essential facet of controlling Type 2 diabetes. When we exercise, the muscles produce energy by using up the sugar present in the blood. Exercising regularly also helps the body to use insulin efficiently. As a result, the blood sugar level is lowered. The more you exert, the longer the effect will last. However, light physical activities such as walking, gardening, and housework can also help you control diabetes.
Discuss an exercise plan with your doctor. Ask them about the type of exercises that are right for you. Aim for a minimum of 30 minutes of aerobic activity daily. An intense workout can lower your blood sugar even up to a day later. So make sure to check your levels before and after exercise. If you take insulin and your blood sugar is below 90 mg/dL, make sure to eat a snack before you begin exercising to avoid lowering your blood sugar level excessively.
When we feel stressed, our body produces certain hormones that can cause blood sugar levels to rise. You may also find it harder to stick to your diabetes management plan if you are under a lot of stress. If you have been feeling stressed lately, try some relaxation techniques. Avoid the common stress triggers as much as possible. Learn strategies to cope with stress. Working with a clinical social worker or psychologist may also help.
Smoking can be extremely dangerous for people with diabetes as both are known to narrow the blood vessels. This narrowing of the blood vessels puts extra pressure on the heart and causes it to work harder. Quitting smoking will help lower your risk of stroke, heart attack, kidney diseases, nerve diseases, and diabetic eye diseases. It will help improve your blood pressure and cholesterol levels as well. Your blood circulation will be better, and it will be easier for you to exercise as well.
If you are in the habit of smoking, stop now! Take help from your doctor or counselor and give up this dangerous habit as soon as possible.
Dehydrates and diabetes go hand in hand. Dry mouth and excessive thirst, in fact, are both signs of dehydration and indicators of diabetes. When we have diabetes, our body cannot produce and use insulin efficiently. Insulin helps the cells in our body to absorb sugar from the bloodstream and use it to produce energy. When the body is unable to use insulin properly, the excess sugar starts accumulating in the bloodstream. When the blood sugar remains high for a long period, the kidneys have to work extra hard to remove this excess glucose via urination. This can lead to dehydration, especially if you do not replenish the lost fluids.
Drinking water will not only keep dehydration at bay but also helps the body remove excess glucose easily. If you have diabetes, drink lots of fluids, at least 2 liters per day, to fight dehydration. Add fresh lemon or lime juice to plain water for extra flavor. You can also drink herbal teas, sugar-free coffee, or skim milk. However, avoid energy drinks, sodas, and fruit juices as they contain a lot of sugar.
Diabetes is a long-term issue that happens when the blood sugar levels are on a spike and the pancreas stops producing insulin that helps in converting sugar into energy or is not able to use the insulin properly. Diet is the main factor that is essential to control the blood sugar levels in people with prediabetes and diabetes. Along with the diet, the other factors that contribute to managing blood glucose levels are stress, body weight, and genetics.
Some foods that are rich in carbs and have added sugars in them can fluctuate the sugar levels while foods rich in fibre and proteins can optimize blood glucose control and promote overall health.
The best foods for diabetes control and that improve overall health are as under -
A person with diabetes needs to follow a diet plan that includes three main meals at regular intervals along with some healthy snacks in between. This will help the body in proper insulin secretion and use it well. Eating the correct portion is important to control blood sugar levels and also watch out the body weight.
There are two ways by which you can plan your eating patterns. They are – Plate method and the carbs counting method.
1. Plate method – This method is apt to control your portion size during lunch and dinner time. This method enables you to keep the right amount of food from each of the groups of food that you need to eat.
In this method, all you need is a 9-inch plate which you should fill up with different groups of food. Fill up the plate to half with non-starchy vegetables. Take some meat or any other protein in one-fourth of the plate. Add some starchy veggies like peas and corn or grains in the other one-fourth. Along with this, you can add a piece of fruit or a small bowl of fruit and drink a glass of milk.
Create your plate by finding the different combination of food that suits your body and helps you in managing your glucose levels.
2. Carbohydrate counting – Keeping a tab of carbs that you take is essential because the carbs turn into glucose and affect the sugar levels in the body. Therefore, count the number of carbs that you eat and drink. Carbs counting can help you maintain your glucose levels and guide you on how much insulin you need to take. It is specifically for people who take insulin and may not be needed for all people with diabetes. As carbs are measured in grams, you can about the carbs present in each food that you take. Check the label to find out and estimate the carbs that you are taking and total them to get your carbs to intake in grams.
Try and avoid foods that are rich in carbs and added sugar such as refined grains, white rice, white bread, sweets etc.
A diabetes meal plan when paired with healthy lifestyle changes and physical activities, it helps in keeping blood sugar levels stable. A regular exercise routine can regulate your sugar levels along with keeping you fit and make you strong. Exercising is the best diabetes control tip to keep you active along with preventing the risk of diabetes and all the complications related to it. Some of the exercises which you can include in your daily life are as follows –
Blood sugar levels can be successfully managed in many ways. Making lifestyle changes, consuming diabetes control food in moderation, keeping your weight in check, improving sleep quality, managing stress, staying active, and staying hydrated are some of the easiest yet best ways to improve your quality of life when living with diabetes. Consult your healthcare provider to make a tailored plan for managing diabetes and knowing the best food for diabetes control.
Among the best diabetes control tips, the ones that would play a key role would be diet and exercise. Even the diet-related tips need to be specific and people need to make sure to follow them to the fullest. Here are some of the best fruits that a person with diabetes could consume – blackberries, strawberries, oranges, apples, pears, etc
Make sure that even while eating fruit, you are fully aware of the glycemic index and are maintaining healthy portion control while consuming fruits. A combination of fruits and nuts would also be a good idea to lower the glycemic index in case it is high.
When you have diabetes, everything that you do needs to be managed and calculated well. Even physical activities have to be planned out – one cannot work out with a very high sugar level, similarly, exercising during hypoglycemia is equally dangerous. Here are some of the tips for diabetes control regarding exercises:
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