Having a better lifestyle (regular exercise and healthy diet) can take you a long way in diabetes management. Although if you feel the need for medications to manage the condition, do not hesitate to visit a doctor/diabetes specialist. Please take note of the following tips for diabetes self-management.
● Follow a healthy meal plan and stick to it
Eat a balanced diet with lots of fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy products, lean meat, and protein. Limit your carbohydrate intake for better sugar control. It is best to avoid processed sugar or food items. Even if you do buy, make sure to read the nutrition label carefully. Stay hydrated as much as possible.
● Start an exercise program
By now, you would know the importance of physical activity for your health. Physical activity not only lowers your sugar levels but also improves brain activity, prevents heart complications, and helps in weight management. Please note it is equally important to indulge in activities that are not too strenuous for your health. Therefore, it is essential to find the appropriate types of exercise based on your personal health status.
● Take care of your foot
In diabetes, the blood vessels start getting damaged due to increased blood sugar levels. The most affected area in the body is your foot. This is why you must take foot care quite seriously when it comes to diabetes. Check your feet every day and look out for bruises/wounds. Only wear covered yet breathable shoes along with comfortable socks.
● Monitor your blood sugar levels
Monitoring your sugar levels is the key to understand what is working for your body. When diagnosed with diabetes, your diabetes specialist must have instructed you a schedule to check your blood sugar levels. Carry items that can improve your condition if in a case of emergency.
Diabetes education is an important tool for day-to-day diabetes management. Therefore, it is important to understand more about this condition and work on improving it. Follow this diabetes care plan to manage and monitor your diabetes in a seamless manner. If you are looking for SMART diabetes check machine, you should definitely check this one out here.
In diabetes, the first step after diagnosis is developing a healthy-eating plan. A diabetes diet simply includes all the types of food from the food groups that are boosted with nutrients and low in fat. Although referred to as a diabetes diet, this meal plan is essentially beneficial to all of us. For diabetic care plan, the best bet would be Diabetes Total plan.
Under a diabetes diet, three full meals are included that can help you improve sugar levels and increase insulin sensitivity. Here is a detailed diabetes plan that can help you with diabetes management.
Under the plate method, you need to draw an imaginary line in the middle of the plate and divide one of the halves into two equal halves.
- Fill the biggest part of the plate with non-starchy vegetables such as carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, and green beans.
- Fill a quarter of the plate with lean proteins & seafood -rich foods such as chicken, grilled fish, or eggs.
- In the last quarter, fill food items that are high in starch such as whole grains, vegetables such as corn, pumpkins, beans, potatoes, peas, and corn.
Make sure you add a serving of fruit or dairy that is low on fat in your diet. Also, stay hydrated by drinking lots of water or unsweetened tea or coffee.
You can also opt for a carbohydrate-counting method where you need to count the carbohydrate intake of the whole day. This will also limit the carbohydrate intake of your body but will also help in adjusting the insulin dose accordingly. In order to do this, you can consult a dietician who will guide you to measure food portions and learn how to read food labels.
Whichever the method you opt for, it is important to choose foods that can help you put together a healthy meal plan. To ease the process, we have curated a list of foods that you must include in your diet and foods that you must avoid:
Foods to say ‘YES’
Protein-rich foods such as:
- Poultry, fish, and lean meat
- Dairy products such as skimmed milk, low-fat yoghurt
- Legumes and beans
Fibre-rich foods such as:
- Fruits including oranges, bananas, berries, and apples
- Vegetables – opt for vegetables that are dark in colour (carrots, spinach, broccoli)
- Nuts – almonds, pistachios, sunflower or chia seeds
- Grains and cereals – wheat, barley, brown rice
Foods that are rich in good fat such as:
- Peanut or olive oils
Foods to say ‘NO’
Since diabetes can increase the risk of heart complications, avoid foods that are high in saturated fats such as butter and red meat. Also, limit your intake of foods that are made in coconut oil and palm kernel oil. Avoid trans fats, cholesterol, and sodium too. Foods such as processed snacks, high-dairy products, egg yolks are high in trans fats and can increase cholesterol.
● Top Exercises for Diabetics to Help Regulate Blood Sugar Levels
Managing a healthy lifestyle does not only include a healthy diet but exercising as well. Exercising helps the body burn more glucose, thus managing sugar levels in the body. Please note exercising or working out does not necessarily mean running marathons, swimming, etc. It could be simply walking for 20 minutes every day or stretching out a bit.
Here are the best exercises for diabetes that help in managing sugar levels:
Walking is the easiest form of exercise. All you need is a good pair of shoes and a park/place where you can walk, you are good to go! Brisk walking is a form of aerobic exercise that increases heartbeat and have shown significant improvements in blood sugar levels. It is advised to do aerobic activities for at least 150 minutes a week to reap benefits. Moreover, it is recommended to not take a break of more than two consecutive days without an aerobic activity.
Dancing can be adding a fun element to exercising. It will not only help you burn your glucose but also boost confidence. As per studies, grooving on your favourite music for at least 30 minutes, 3 days a week can lower your sugar levels significantly.
➔ Climbing Stairs
The next time you need to go to a third floor or the seventh floor, try going up by stairs. Climbing stairs not only burns your calories and glucose but also give you a break from work and sedentary lifestyle. You can go up and down after an hour of consuming your meal.
➔ Tai Chi
Tai Chi is a Chinese art that involves deep breathing through slow and controlled movements. It is known to improve balance, mobility, and flexibility and decrease stress levels. Moreover, it has shown significant results in preventing nerve damage in your feet.
➔ Strength training
Strength training is beneficial for diabetics as well as non-diabetics. Weight training helps in building muscles, which is important for Type-2 diabetics. In your exercise regimen, try including strength training at least twice a week. You can also go for three days but please make sure to keep a rest day between the strength training sessions. For optimal strength, include five or ten different types of lifting.
If the traditional form of exercise is not your style, you can opt for gardening as a part of your exercise regimen. Gardening is believed to improve strength in the body along with being an aerobic activity. It improves the circulation of blood since you are constantly moving, kneeling, or bending. Moreover, it is known to be a stress buster too.
Yoga is another beneficial form of exercise that can lower sugar levels. It not only helps in burning fats and glucose but aids in fighting insulin resistance and improving nerve function. Moreover, yoga is known to relieve stress in individuals and lessens depressing/sad thoughts.