Diabetes is the third leading cause of death in the United States and the leading cause of blindness for adults. Although there is no cure for diabetes you can prevent the complications associated with diabetes by keeping your blood sugar levels under control. Diet and exercise are key to keeping your blood sugars at a normal rate and may also be used to decrease the amount and or frequency of medication needed to manage your diabetes. Here are my suggestions for Diet and Exercise.
Try to exercise 30 minutes at least twice a week. You can break the 30 minutes up into 10 minute increments by taking the dog for a walk, dancing to a few songs or playing chase with your kids or grand kids. Be creative and have fun!
Incorporate more fruits and vegetables into your diet. I like to add spinach to eggs, top hotdogs with mixed greens and throw in blueberries with oatmeal, yogurt or cereal. When dining out order a salad for your appetizer. That way you know you had a serving of vegetables before your entree even comes out.
Don’t buy junk food when you go grocery shopping. If you don’t have junk food in your house then you will be less likely to eat junk food. In addition, I found that eliminating cow’s milk, soda, white bread and white rice have helped me to keep my blood sugar levels under control. I have replaced cow’s milk with almond milk but I encourage you to try alternatives like soy, coconut milk and rice milk.
Finally, eat more foods that help regulate blood sugar levels. Foods such as sweet potatoes, spinach, avocados and salmon are known for lowering or helping to maintain normal blood sugar levels.
Aside from diet and exercise I encourage you to read anything you can get your hands on that mentions diabetes, nutrition or health. You are responsible for taking control of your diabetes not your doctor and in order to take control you have to become educated. In addition to learning about how diet and exercise effect your blood sugar levels, I also recommend seeing a nutritionist or dietician. They can help you learn how to read food labels and create a meal plan based on your age, weight and nutritional goals.
Doctors will often prescribe medication without discussing the importance of diet and exercise in controlling blood sugar levels. Many will simply suggest you loose weight. For skinny diabetics like me we don’ t necessarily need to loose weight we just need to adopt healthier eating, and exercise habits.
When making healthy lifestyle changes, I suggest that you start with a few changes and stick to them and most importantly relax since stress can also raise your blood sugar.
Have you tried any of these tips? Do you have other suggestions for helping others take control of their diabetes? Let me know what works or doesn’t work for you and feel free to share any additional advice that you may have.