Diabetes is a disease that affects around 17.7 million people in the United States. You should follow your doctor’s instructions when taking medication, but you should go further than that. People with diabetes are up to four times more likely to suffer from heart disease or a stroke than those who do not have the condition.
Carbohydrate counting is essential for people with type 1 diabetes to maintain stable blood glucose levels. To figure out how much insulin to take after a meal, you must first estimate how many carbohydrates the food contains.
Weight loss is essential if you have type 2 diabetes and are overweight, as it dramatically improves diabetes control. Why? Because lowering blood sugar levels is one way to reduce the risk of developing other complications. Low-carb, Mediterranean, and highly low-calorie diets are just a few of the many options. We now know that in some instances, significant weight loss can reverse type 2 diabetes.
Whether you have type 1 or type 2 diabetes, you must make good food choices whether trying to lose, gain, or maintain your weight.
Whether you have type 1 or type 2 diabetes, portion control is essential. It makes it easier to figure out a person’s caloric intake or track how much weight they’ve lost. Keep in mind that portion sizes are different for everyone, and what one person eats may not be appropriate for another.
We have many resources to help you manage your feelings about food and diabetes.
1. Opt for healthful carbohydrate sources.
Low blood glucose levels are a result of consuming carbohydrate-rich foods. As a result, knowing what foods contain carbohydrates is critical. Choose carbohydrate-rich foods that are better for you, and keep an eye on your serving quantities.
Here are some carbohydrate sources that are good for you:
- A diet rich in whole grains, including brown rice, buckwheat, and whole oats, is good for your health.
- Chickpeas, lentils, and other types of beans are included in the category of pulses.
- Lactose-free items include whole milk, plain yogurt, and ricotta cheese.
It is also essential to restrict meals that are low in fiber, such as white bread, and white rice, and highly processed cereals, such as Cheerios. You can check the labels to see which foods contain a lot of fiber if you’re not sure.
Salt consumption should be minimized.
Consuming an excessive amount of salt raises blood pressure, putting one at greater risk for cardiovascular disease and stroke. As a result, people with diabetes are already at a higher risk for these ailments, read more at TIB Pharmacy.
Limit your daily salt intake to 6 grams (or around a teaspoon). Salt is already included in many pre-packaged foods. Because of this, it is necessary to read product labels and choose products that are lower in salt. You’ll be able to track how much salt you’re consuming if you cook from home. It’s also possible to experiment with other herbs and spices in place of salt to enhance flavor.
Reduce your intake of red and processed meats.
If you cut back on carbs, you may find yourself gravitating toward meat as a way to fill your tummy. Red and processed meats like ham, bacon, sausages, beef, and lamb should not be consumed. All of these are related to heart disease and cancer.
Try substituting these for red and processed meat:
- Lentils and beans are examples of pulses.
- avian species like chicken and turkey
- unseasoned nuts
Because of their high fiber content and lack of impact on blood glucose levels, legumes, beans, and lentils are great alternatives to processed and red meat and a source of sustained energy. These are high in a heart-healthy fat called omega-3 oil. Two servings of oily fish should be consumed per week.
Increase your intake of fruits and vegetables.
Eat a diet rich in fruits and vegetables. When you’re hungry, it’s a good idea to eat more at meals and as snacks. The vitamins, minerals, and fiber your body needs to keep healthy can be obtained this way.
Due to fruit’s high sugar content, you may wonder if it’s best to skip it altogether. The response is no. Everyone, including diabetics, can benefit from eating whole fruits. To avoid added sugar, opt for whole fruits rather than fruit juices. For example, it could be frozen or canned (in juice, not syrup). And it’s best to spread it out over the day rather than ingest it all at once.
Choose fats that are good for you
Fat is crucial to our diets because it provides us with energy. Varied types of fat, on the other hand, have different consequences on our bodies.
Nuts, seeds, avocados, oily seafood, olive oil, rapeseed oil, and sunflower oil give the healthiest fats. Some saturated fats can increase blood cholesterol levels, enhancing the risk of heart disease. These are particularly abundant in animal products and processed foods, including:
- red and processed meats
- Pastries, cakes, and pies, to name a few.
- Grill, steam, or bake your food instead of using a lot of oil.
Reduce the amount of added sugar in your diet.
We understand that it can be tough to eliminate sugar from your diet at first, so we recommend making minor, realistic adjustments. The first step is to replace sugary beverages like energy drinks and fruit juices with water, plain milk, or sugar-free tea and coffee.
Low- or zero-calorie sweeteners (also referred to as artificial sweeteners) are always accessible to help you reduce your calorie intake. By cutting out these extra sugars, you’ll be able to regulate your blood sugar levels better and keep your weight in check. As a side effect of your diabetes medication, you occasionally have hypoglycemia and must treat it with sugary drinks. You should not completely stop drinking sugary drinks if you have diabetes. However, if you frequently encounter hypos, you should talk to your diabetes team.
Consider your snacking options carefully.
Consume fruits and vegetables and plain yogurt as a healthy alternative to salty snacks like potato chips and crackers and sweet snacks like cookies and chocolates. On the other hand, Portion control can assist you in maintaining healthy body weight.
Alcohol should be consumed in moderation.
If you’re trying to lose weight while also drinking, you might consider cutting back on your intake. Limit your weekly intake to 14 units. To avoid binge drinking, spread out your drinking and abstain from alcohol regularly.
Drinking on an empty stomach is a no-no for those who use insulin or other diabetes medications. This is because drinking alcohol increases the risk of hypoxia.
Avoid so-called “diabetic” meals at all costs!
It is illegal to refer to food as “diabetic food.” Consumption of these products has never been shown to benefit over a healthy diet. Even though these foods have a lower caloric content, they might raise your blood sugar levels. They may also have a laxative effect. However this is not always the case.
Make sure you eat a diet rich in vitamins and minerals.
Mineral and vitamin supplements have not been shown to aid in the control of diabetes. You don’t need to take vitamins unless your doctor tells you to, like folic acid during pregnancy.
Nutrients should be obtained through various foods rather than from a single source. If you are taking medication for diabetes, several supplements may interact with or worsen your condition, such as renal problems.
Increase your physical activity
Regular physical activity offers numerous advantages. Exercise can benefit you:
- Reduce weight
- Reduce your blood glucose
- Increase your sensitivity to insulin, which helps maintain normal blood sugar levels.
The majority of persons have the following weight loss and maintenance objectives:
- Aerobic workout. Aim for 30 minutes or more of moderate to strenuous aerobic exercise, such as brisk walking, swimming, cycling, or running, on most days, for at least 150 minutes per week.
- Resistance exercise. At least twice or three times per week, resistance training boosts your strength, balance, and capacity to maintain an active lifestyle. In resistance training, weightlifting, yoga, and calisthenics are included.
- Minimal inactivity Long periods of inactivity, such as sitting at a computer, can be broken up to help control blood sugar levels. Every 30 minutes, take a few minutes to stand, move around, or engage in another mild activity.