Choose Carbs Carefully
Diabetes doesn’t mean you have to cut carbs completely. Choose carbohydrates that break down slowly in the body, providing constant energy. Choose whole grains, beans, nuts, fresh fruits, and vegetables. Yes, you can eat fruit even if it is sweet. It’s about eating the right amount of carbs at each meal. A dietitian can help you determine the right amount for you.
Lose Weight If You Need To
Small start. If you’re overweight, losing a few pounds can improve your body’s ability to use insulin. This will help lower your blood sugar and improve your blood pressure and lipids. You will also have more energy. Ready? Try to burn more calories than you eat. For starters, try to cut excess fat, sugar, and calories from your diet.
Get Enough Sleep
Too much or too little sleep can increase cravings and cravings for carbohydrate-rich foods. This can lead to weight gain, increasing the risk of complications like heart disease. So try to get seven or eight hours of sleep each night. If you have sleep apnea, treatment can improve your sleep and lower your blood sugar.
Be Active: Exercise and Diabetes
Choose something you enjoy: walk, dance, bike, or just walk in place while you’re on the phone. Do it for half an hour every day; work there if you need to. Exercise can help you lower your cardiovascular risk, lower cholesterol, and blood pressure, and maintain your weight. Exercise also reduces stress and can help you reduce your use of diabetes medications.
Monitor Your Blood Sugar Daily
You know you have to test it. And checking your blood sugar can help you avoid diabetes complications, such as nerve pain, or prevent them from getting worse. Checking it can also help you see how food and activity are affecting you and whether your treatment plan is working. Your doctor can help you set a target glucose range. The closer you get to your goal, the better you’ll feel.
When you have diabetes, stress can cause your blood sugar to rise. Eliminate any physical or mental stress you can. Learn coping techniques for dealing with others. Relaxation techniques like breathing exercises, yoga, and meditation can be especially effective if you have type 2 diabetes.
Say No to Salt
Reduce salt in your diet. It can help lower blood pressure and protect your kidneys. Not adding salt to the food on your plate may not be enough. Most of the salt in the American diet comes from processed foods. Avoid processed meals and use fresh ingredients when possible. Add herbs and spices instead of salt when cooking.
Heart Disease Risk and Diabetes
Adults 51 years of age and older and those with high blood pressure, diabetes, or chronic kidney disease should talk to their doctor about reducing their sodium intake. In general, people with diabetes should stay below 2,300 mg per day, but your doctor may recommend a lower amount.
Take Care of Bumps and Bruises
Heart disease can be a serious complication of diabetes. Monitor your risk by checking the following ABCs:
A1C level. This is a measure of your average blood sugar control over the past 2-3 months. You may need to check it twice or more a year. Talk to your doctor about setting a goal.
Arterial pressure. Target:
less than 140/80 mm Hg.
LDL at 100 mg/day or less; HDL greater than 40 mg/dl in men and greater than 50 in women; and triglycerides less than 150 mg/dl.
Diabetes increases the risk of infection and slows wound healing, so treat even simple cuts and scrapes quickly. Clean your wound properly and use antibiotic creams and sterile dressings. See your doctor if the condition does not improve after a few days. Check your feet daily for blisters, cuts, sores, redness, or swelling. Keep them moist to prevent cracking.
Break Your Smoking Habit
People with diabetes who smoke are twice as likely to die early as non-smokers. Quitting smoking helps your heart and lungs. It lowers your blood pressure and your risk of stroke, heart attack, nerve damage, and kidney disease. Ask your doctor to help you quit smoking.
Pick Super Foods, Don’t Supersize
There is no one diet for diabetes. But here are the basics to keep in mind: Enjoy superfoods like berries, sweet potatoes, fish with omega-3 fatty acids, and dark leafy greens. Look at food labels and avoid saturated and trans fats. Instead, choose monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats like olive oil.
Set Up Doctor Visits
A dietitian can give you personalized advice. Expect to see your doctor two to four times a year. If you take insulin or need help controlling your blood sugar, you may need more frequent visits. Also, have an annual health and eye exam. You should be checked for eye, nerve, and kidney damage and other complications. See your dentist twice a year. And be sure to tell all healthcare providers that you have diabetes.
SOURCE: Emma Citizen