Diabetes mellitus is one of the most prevalent chronic diseases in the world that affects people of all ages. Diet and exercise are two main cornerstones of diabetes control and management. Studies have demonstrated a strong relationship between excessive body weight and the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, hyperlipidaemia and high blood pressure. Therefore, physicians often motivate patients to lose weight through regular exercise and diet to improve the patient’s diabetes control and slow down or reverse the natural progress of the disease.
Diet Tips to Control Diabetes
A low glycemic index diabetic diet can help in improving glycemic control in diabetes and aid in the primary prevention of diabetes as well as control of existing diabetes. Here are a few easy and helpful tips that will answer the question of how to control diabetes with diet.
Make Wise Carbohydrate Choices - The most important tip for a diabetes diet is choosing the right carbohydrates with low glycemic index that take time to breakdown in the intestine leading to slow release of glucose into the blood. Whole grains, multi grain bread, cereals, brown rice, oats, vegetables and low-fat dairy foods are some of the best examples of low GI foods. Stay away from simple carbohydrates such as refined flour, white rice, white bread, starch and sugar.
Eat lots of whole foods, fruits and vegetables - Including greater amounts of vegetables, fruits and whole grains in the diet for diabetes supplies vitamins, minerals and fibers to the body.
Choose Healthy Fats and Oils - Recent research about monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats have changed our perspective towards fats. People with diabetes should limit the intake of unhealthy saturated fats because it increases insulin resistance, blood pressure and lipids in people with prediabetes and type 2 diabetes. Cut your daily fat count to reduce the intake of daily calories. Use healthy fats such as nut oil, extra virgin olive oil and canola oil for cooking and dressing the salads.
Eat often - Starving yourself to promote weight loss is one of the biggest mistakes you can make if you have diabetes because it can lead to hypoglycaemia – a condition where sugar level in the blood falls below the normal range. Therefore, don’t remain hungry, eat small frequent meals instead.
Control Portion Size - We are used to eating jumbo servings of foods stuffed with refined grains, solid fats and added sugars which have led to excess calories and extra pounds. Therefore, it is important to be careful about the portion sizes of the foods we eat. You can start by reducing the portions of unhealthy foods by 5 to 10% that will help you to reduce the intake of calories, fats and carbohydrates.
Minimize Restaurant Meals - Eating out frequently will never let you reach your healthy eating goals. Restaurants serve up large portions of foods with lots of fats and sodium, and the meals are often lacking in vegetables, whole grains, dairy foods and fruits. Therefore, try to dine healthfully at home and opt for home cooked breakfast and brown-bag lunches to be more successful with diabetes management.
Exercise Tips to Control Diabetes
Exercise and daily physical activities are the most powerful antidotes for insulin resistance. Regular exercise paired with a healthy diabetic diet can improve insulin sensitivity rapidly and also help to lower blood sugar and blood pressure at the same time. It is fine to begin slowly and then pick up the pace as your fitness level rises.
Opt for Quick Workouts - As long as you devote a total of 30 minutes to workouts each day you can opt for several brief workout sessions throughout the day.
Increase Overall Activity - Increasing physical activity, in general, such as walking or climbing stairs along with daily household work can also aid in weight management and control blood glucose levels.
Use a Pedometer - A pedometer is a useful fitness device that helps to keep a track of the steps you tread every day. It acts as a source of inspiration for physical activity.
Workout with a Friend - Working out with a friend or partner can be an effective motivator, particularly for elderly people.
Set Realistic and Attainable Goals - Setting unrealistic goals and failing to reach them only discourages and demotivates you. So, make it a point to set small and attainable targets like walking 30 minutes 5 times a week. It may not sound like a lot, but it can help a lot in keeping you committed and consistent.
Maintain a Record of your Physical Activity - Most people underestimate the benefit of recording the physical activity, but in reality it can provide an honest overview of where you had started and how much progress you have made.
Controlling blood glucose levels through modification of diet and lifestyle is the mainstay of diabetes therapy that aids in diabetes control and prevention.
All the treatments – medicines, injections and vaccines are for general information of the reader. Please consult a doctor and get a formal prescription before taking any medicines, supplements and injections.
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